A LITTLE BACKGROUND
Sumero/Akkadian cuneiform, attested by hundreds of thousands of documents in many genres and several languages from various cultures spanning three millennia, is a complex syllabographic and logographic script system with perhaps a couple thousand distinct graphemes (characters). It is marked by extensive multi-valency - one grapheme can have multiple phonemic and semantic realizations.
To this day cuneiform lacks a standard computer encoding.
The general practice among cuneiformists of working almost exclusively in Roman alphabetic transliteration, although suitable for its intended purposes, presents difficulties for the application of computers to cuneiform research and instruction.
The simple addition of graphemically encoded cuneiform to the current practice of transliteration will enable a dramatic increase in philological and linguistic productivity. (It is important to emphasize that we are not proposing the replacement of transliteration by transcription encoding; rather we are talking about the addition of transcription encoding to transliteration.)
For example, with cuneiform encoded:
One could easily search for cuneiform plain text in a mixed script environment, something that is practically impossible in transliteration. One could, for example, search an electronic Chicago Assyrian Dictionary, or the web, for cuneiform content.
One could do context-free text processing of cuneiform - such as automated character recognition of cuneiform tablets (cuneiform OCR) and proximity analysis of grapheme patterns.
Font architects would have much greater incentive to create the many large and complex font sets needed for rendering cuneiform usefully.