Beyond Language

Advancing human connection, translation, and language services.
A collaboration between Sorenson Communications and Newlab, the Beyond Language Studio works with domain experts, industry leaders, and entrepreneurs to drive advancements in language-based technologies and services.

The Studio is working towards a future in which language services are accessible, personal, inviting, and tailored to the moment. The Studio supports this goal by identifying opportunities for high-impact, innovative products, and services to advance through real-world pilot projects. Areas of interest include automated sign language applications, virtual interpretive services, advancements in language translation and captioning, and Natural Language Processing for a broad range of applications that connect people worldwide.

Studio Partner
Studio Partner

The Beyond Language Studio seeks strategic collaboration with startups, organizations, corporations, investors, and institutions interested in leveraging emerging technology to advance connection, communication, language translation, and quality of life using language.
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Focus Areas
Beyond Words

Disrupting language products and services, such as Sign Language Interpretation, translation, and captioning services to deliver an order of magnitude greater clarity and connection in communication and quality of life. We seek to pilot with startups working on impact-driven advancements in language services.

Specific challenges the Studio will aim to address in this focus area include advancing language translation, language interpretation, and captioning services through:

  • Developing new solutions that are timely, high-accuracy, context-infused language.
  • Applying Text to Sign Gloss translation to improve virtual sign language interpretation.
  • Employing context, sentiment and object recognition technologies to provide meaningful linguistic output (such as captions, responses, or recommendations).

Activating Language

Inventing the future of language products and services by activating language with purpose. We seek to pilot with startups working on technological advancements that meaningfully understand and respond to language.

Specific challenges the Studio will aim to address in this focus area include leveraging the undercurrents of language and developing meaningful responses through:

  • Gleaning more meaning from a conversation beyond what is verbally shared by decoding written, verbal and non-verbal cues (e.g. Mental Health markers).
  • Deploying Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning via Conversational Agents to enable assistive conversations.

Key Dates
Open Call Deadline
February 22, 2023
Startups Selected
April 2023
Pilot Development & Launch
May - August 2023
Fall 2023
Pilot Evaluation & Next Steps
Fall 2023
About Sorenson

Sorenson believes that communication is fundamental to the human experience, which is why its innovative technology and services are accessible, inclusive, and functionally equivalent for Deaf, hard-of-hearing, and diverse communities across the globe. As one of the world’s leading language services providers and the world’s leading provider of communication for Deaf, hard-of-hearing, and diverse people, Sorenson combines patented technology with human-centric services to connect signed and spoken languages. Sorenson connects more than 140 million conversations each year by offering a full suite of inclusive language services – caption and video relay services, over-video and in-person sign language and spoken language interpreting, real-time event captioning services, and post-production language services. Supporting people is what drives Sorenson to, every day, Connect Beyond Words.

For more information on how we advance human connection, visit or

At Newlab


The Accessible Streets Studio is a collaboration between Ford’s Michigan Central and Newlab to foster an ecosystem of Detroiters, civic stakeholders, startups, researchers, investors, entrepreneurs, and industry experts committed to helping shape the future of mobility in a way that benefits everyone.

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