Amid protests across the US sparked by the killing of a black man by a white police officer and in line with its longstanding commitments to diversity, NeurIPS 2020 is extending its paper submission deadline by 48 hours.
Organizers of the 34th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems made the announcement today along with a statement of solidarity with its black community. The new deadline is Friday, June 5, 2020, at 1 pm PDT.
What started as a social media hashtag in 2013, “Black Lives Matter” (BLM) has grown into a national movement “that resurges on U.S. streets after high-profile deaths of African-Americans at the hands of the police,” writesThe Washington Post. Protests triggered by the death of the Minneapolis man, George Floyd, have entered their seventh day in many US cities. The police officer involved has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
In an email to the NeurIPS 2020 PC and Diversity and Inclusion Chairs, University of Oxford Associate Professor of Machine Learning Yarin Gal wrote “Given NeurIPS’s goal to increase diversity, and given the disruptions we’ve had on a global scale leaving many individuals disadvantaged this year, I reckon it’d make sense to offer support to individuals in our community who have been affected most severely. I fear that if we don’t do so, our coming NIPS will be much less diverse, dominated by authors who have been least affected by the disruptions. One way we can support those in need, possibly with the smallest affect on the tight NIPS timeline, would be to offer extensions…”
As the world’s most prestigious machine learning conference, NeuIPS made it a priority to advance “diversity, equity, and inclusion” after visa issues for many researchers from Africa plagued the 2018 conference in Montreal — with about half of the more than 200 people seeking visas from the Black in AI group reportedly denied.
The problem resurfaced at NeurIPS 2019 in Vancouver. Said Diversity and Inclusion Chair Katherine Heller, “A group of researchers ran into challenges when they tried to secure visas for the conference. While we tried to get ahead of this, it wasn’t until the broader AI community and many others with ties to NeurIPS reached out to the Canadian government to encourage them to overturn the denials.”
The complete NuerIPS 2020 announcement is below:
June 2, 2020 — Important notice to all authors: the paper submission deadline has been extended by 48 hours. The new deadline is Friday June 5, 2020 at 1pm PDT.
Today, NeurIPS grieves for its Black community members devastated by the cycle of police and vigilante violence.
Today, NeurIPS mourns for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, and thousands of Black people who have lost their lives to this violence.
Today, NeurIPS stands with its Black community to affirm that, today and every day, Black lives matter.
Journalist: Fangyu Cai | Editor: Michael Sarazen