1st CfP: Workshop on Machine Learning for Ancient Languages (ML4AL) @ACL 2024

On behalf of the Organising Committee, it is my pleasure to circulate the 1st Call for Papers for the Workshop on Machine Learning for Ancient Languages (ML4AL 2024). The Workshop is co-located at ACL 2024 and will take place in a hybrid format in Bangkok, Thailand and remotely, on 15 August 2024.

The submission deadline is May 17th, 2024 11:59pm, UTC-12 (anywhere on Earth). Please refer to the ML4AL workshop website http://ml4al.com for the full CfP and for more information.


Technological aids have long supported the study of ancient texts, but in recent years advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) have enabled analyses on Ancient Languages on an unprecedented scale and in unparalleled detail. The ML4AL Workshop aims to inspire collaboration and support research momentum in the emerging field of ML for the study of ancient texts. We invite contributions tackling texts from the diverse corners of the globe, in any language, script or medium. We establish a chronological scope from the inception of writing systems in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt (3400 BCE) to the late first millennium CE.

We welcome contributions on topics related to, but not limited to:

  • Digitization: bringing textual sources to a high-quality machine-readable format (e.g., through HTR).
  • Restoration: recovering missing text and reassembling fragmented written artefacts.
  • Attribution: contextualising a document within its original geographical, chronological and authorial setting.
  • Linguistic analysis: involving tasks such as POS tagging, text parsing, segmentation, representation learning, semantics, sentiment, language identification.
  • Textual criticism: the process of reconstructing a text’s philological tradition of textual transmission, including the tasks of stemmatology and intertextuality.
  • Translation and decipherment: which aim to make a text’s language comprehensible and interpretable to modern-day researchers.

Encompassing such a vast and fertile remit for ML applications, the ML4AL Workshop is designed to facilitate and invigorate the ongoing collaborative impetus between ML and the Humanities.

ACL is the most prominent conference on ML and NLP in the world, and this is the first time a workshop on the topic of ML for Ancient Languages is included at an ACL meeting.

We particularly welcome submissions which tackle low-data, underrepresented, non-Western ancient languages, and we encourage researchers and practitioners from diverse backgrounds, working on ancient languages, irrespective of their gender, ethnicity, nationality, or academic affiliations, including fellows tackling low-underrepresented and non-Western centric ancient languages.


We welcome long (8 page) and short (4 page) paper submissions, in PDF format following the ACL template style, made through OpenReview or ARR. Accepted regular workshop papers will be included in the workshop proceedings, but non-archival submissions are also welcome.

All submissions should be completely anonymous to allow a double-blind review process (each paper is expected to be reviewed by at least three reviewers). Selected accepted papers will be presented orally and the rest as posters. Papers on relevant topics that have appeared or might appear in other venues (workshops, conferences, journals) are also welcome, which can be presented at the workshop but will not be included in the workshop proceedings. Already published contributions (excluding preprints) cannot be accepted.


Dr John Pavlopoulos, Athens University of Economics and Business, Greece Dr Thea Sommerschield, University of Nottingham, UK Dr Yannis Assael, Google DeepMind, UK Dr Shai Gordin, Ariel University, Israel Prof. Kyunghyun Cho, NYU, CIFAR, Genentech, USA Prof. Marco Passarotti, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy Dr Rachele Sprugnoli, Università di Parma, Italy Dr Yudong Liu, Western Washington University, USA Dr Bin Li, Nanjing Normal University, China Dr Adam Anderson, UC Berkeley, USA

Contact the organisers at: ml4al.organizers@gmail.com


Masayuki Asahara; John Bodel; Gregory Crane; Katrien De Graef; Sanhong Deng; Mark Depauw; Hanne Eckhoff; Margherita Fantoli; Minxuan Feng; Ethan Fetaya; Federica Gamba; Laura Hawkins; Chul Heo; Petra Heřmánková; Marietta Horster; Renfen Hu; Kyle Johnson; Alek Keersmaekers; Ussen Kimanuka; Thomas Koentges; Els Lefever; Chaya Liebeskind; Eliese-Sophia Lincke; Chao-Lin Liu; Liu Liu; Congjun Long; Jiaming Luo; Massimo Maiocchi; Isabelle Marthot-Santaniello; Barbara McGillivray; M. Willis Monroe; Alex Mullen; Chiara Palladino; Chanjun Park, Upstage; Edoardo M. Ponti; Mladen Popovic; Jonathan Prag; Avital Romach; Edgar Roman-Rangel; Matteo Romanello; Brent Seales; Andrew Senior; Si Shen; Barak Sober; Richard Sproat; Gabriel Stanovsky; Vanessa Stefanak; Silvia Stopponi; Qi Su; Matthew I. Swindall; Xuri Tang; Charlotte Tupman; Dongbo Wang; Haneul Yoo; Chongsheng Zhang.


  • Paper submission deadline: May 17, 2024
  • Notification of acceptance: June 17, 2024
  • Camera-ready paper due: July 1, 2024
  • Workshop: August 15, 2024

All deadlines are 11:59 pm UTC -12h (“anywhere on Earth”).

Thank you very much, and apologies for cross-posting!