How a NeurIPS workshop is increasing women’s visibility in AI

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A. 

I absolutely think so. This is one of the most respected workshops at NeurIPS, because it has been going for a long time and the quality is pretty high. Of course, the pandemic temporarily reduced attendance, but up to the pandemic, the numbers had been steadily increasing since the first time the workshop was offered.

What really makes me happy is that, for example, we invited senior researchers to give invited talks, and most of them mentioned that their first presentations in ML were actually at the WiML workshop. When they were students, they attended WiML as presenters, and now they are inspiring other students. I think that is really nice to see.

That’s true for me, too. When I first attended in 2017, I didn’t have any papers published in a main AI conference until then. I had a poster presentation in WiML, and I was so excited to present it at such a big conference. That was my first time really interacting with AI researchers about my work. I got very useful feedback on my work during the workshop, and then that work was published in a main conference later.

If you just look at the successful women researchers in AI who are presenting this year, where they are at their careers, and where they were when they first interacted with AI through WiML, I think that shows the success of the workshop.

I am also very impressed by the quality of the abstracts we received. We selected some of these works as oral presentations, and the rest will be presented as posters. Of course, we could not do it without the help of our area chairs, who reviewed the submitted abstracts carefully. These area chairs, who are also women or nonbinary, were recruited based on their expertise in AI. Additionally, we had women volunteers to help us out during the event. Given that all the efforts in every aspect of our workshop are voluntary, it is so nice to see this collective effort of women helping women.

I encourage all NeurIPS attendees to visit the WiML workshop and celebrate the achievements by women in ML.





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