by Arjun Subramonian, Konstantina Palla, Ogbuokiri Blessing
We are excited to announce this year’s affinity workshops co-located with NeurIPS.
What are affinity groups?
At NeurIPS, affinity groups play a crucial role in advocating for and amplifying the ideas and voices of marginalized communities, bringing attention to the various issues that affect their members. In addition, they provide members of these affinity groups with increased opportunities to showcase their work, engage in discussions, and build connections during NeurIPS events, promoting diversity and inclusion at NeurIPS
The primary goal of workshops is to encourage individuals marginalized in the machine learning community to present their research and become active contributors to the NeurIPS community. In contrast to regular workshops, affinity group workshops adopt a more open and flexible approach around topic area, focusing on forming research communities within the affinity groups and bringing attention to the unique challenges faced by their members.
Additionally, affinity group socials serve as safe and welcoming spaces, allowing members to interact, socialize, and network in an inclusive environment. By fostering such social gatherings, NeurIPS supports the creation of a supportive community that values diversity and ensures that all voices are heard and valued.
What kind of events do affinity groups offer at conferences?
Affinity groups organize workshops and social events for their members at conferences, for which the D&I committee provides support. The main aim of the workshops is to encourage people to showcase their work and step into the NeurIPS community. Most affinity events at NeurIPS this year will take place on Monday, December 11 in-person. NeurIPS will offer streaming support for all the in-person components of the affinity groups. However, individual groups also have the option to organize additional virtual components if they wish to. The specific timings will be communicated by the affinity groups as the conference dates draw nearer.
What can NeurIPS attendees do to support affinity groups?
Participate! Actively attending and participating in panels and sessions for discussions about issues that are relevant to the affinity groups goes a long way in helping promote their cause. We request all members of our community to participate actively!
Black in AI workshop
Black in AI exists to create a space for sharing ideas, foster collaborations, and discuss initiatives to enhance the representation of Black individuals in the field of AI. NeurIPS, being one of the largest AI research conferences, offers a valuable opportunity for researchers in the community to stay updated on the latest research and expand their network. Since its inception in 2017, the Black in AI workshop has had a profound impact. Many members of Black in AI have walked away from their experience at NeurIPS with internship offers, graduate program advisors, mentorship, and renewed energy to continue working in the field. The workshop remains committed to bridging the gap between Black researchers and the AI community at large. For more information, please visit the Black in AI website.
Global South in AI workshop
The Global South in AI workshop is organizing an affinity session focused on Generative AI, with an emphasis on the languages and cultural history of the global south. The session aims to explore both the potential benefits and challenges of Generative AI in a creative and engaging manner. Participants are encouraged to showcase innovative use cases of Generative AI in global south countries using LLMs and to also address issues related to access difficulties or negative impacts arising from its use. For more information, please visit the Global South in AI website.
Queer in AI workshop
The Queer in AI workshop at NeurIPS 2023 aims to gather diverse perspectives from queer students, researchers, and practitioners worldwide to assess the impact of AI on the LGBTQIA* community. The workshop seeks to build a community of queer individuals, foster discussions at the intersection of AI and queer identities, and address the discrimination faced by the LGBTQ+ community in the tech sphere and beyond. The workshop highlights the need for a more ethics-driven approach in AI development and challenges the exclusion of critical voices in AI discussions. It also aims to create an inclusive space for young queer students in academia, where their identities are recognized and celebrated rather than marginalized. By using NeurIPS as a platform, the workshop intends to promote equitable AI and contribute to a future where technology benefits people of all identities and backgrounds. For more information, please visit the Queer in AI website.
LatinX in AI workshop
The LatinX in AI research workshop is a full-day event featuring invited speakers, oral presentations, and posters. It provides an excellent opportunity for faculty, graduate students, research scientists, and engineers to come together, fostering connections and idea exchange. The workshop includes a panel discussion and mentoring session to explore current research trends and career paths in artificial intelligence and machine learning, with a focus on the distinct challenges faced by LatinX identifying researchers. The main objective is to create a platform for showcasing the work of Latinx researchers, and we warmly invite everyone to join us at this event. For more information, please visit the LatinX in AI website.
Women in ML workshop
The goals and activities of WiML are to
- Highlight the work of researchers in machine learning who are women or nonbinary,
- Give them a chance to meet, encourage technical discussion, and future collaboration,
- Give junior researchers an opportunity to present their work to their peers as well as senior members of the community.
The workshop plans to feature speakers who are women or nonbinary to give talks on their research, organize mentorship sessions to discuss relevant topics, and encourage networking. It will encourage and foster research conversations and help participants develop collaboration opportunities. There will also be poster sessions for participants to present a broader array of work and exchange feedback. For more information, please visit the Women in ML website.
North Africans in ML workshop
The North Africans in ML workshop aims to foster collaboration, networking, and skill development and create a supportive community that celebrates and amplifies the contributions of North Africans to the world of machine learning. We aim to create a sense of community among North African researchers in ML, increase the visibility of North Africans within the AI community, highlight their accomplishments, and acknowledge and discuss the hardships faced by researchers based in North Africa.
The workshop will feature various activities such as talks, panel discussions, poster sessions, and a social event. Distinguished experts in machine learning will present cutting-edge research and its applications in the North African context, offering valuable insights and inspiration. The panel discussions will specifically address challenges faced by North African communities in ML research. For more information, please visit the North Africans in ML website.
Muslims in ML workshop
The Muslims in ML workshop aims to explore the intersection of machine learning, fairness, and the global Muslim community. It recognizes the potential of AI and ML to bring positive changes but also acknowledges existing barriers and biases that may perpetuate unfairness against Muslims. The workshop aims to bring together diverse experts and perspectives to examine challenges and opportunities in integrating AI/ML in the lives of Muslims and those in Muslim-majority countries. It will showcase research by Muslim scholars in ML and highlight work addressing challenges faced by the Muslim community. The workshop provides a safe space for open discussions and social activities. It adopts an inclusive approach that considers cultural association and proximity to the Muslim identity, emphasizing the importance of understanding the complexity and diversity within the Muslim community. The workshop seeks to promote awareness, collaboration, and mitigation strategies to ensure fair and equitable implementation of AI/ML technologies for Muslims worldwide. For more information, please visit the Muslims in ML website
New in ML workshop
The New in ML workshop aims to welcome new researchers in the community and provide them with some guidance to contribute to Machine Learning research fully and effectively. In addition to catering to newcomers, the workshop recently extended its audience to include senior PhDs undergoing role changes, transitioning to academia or industry, thereby embarking on new paths within their ML career. The workshop plans to host presentations offering guidance on how to conduct research from experienced researchers and broadcast them to attract local and remote participants. Attendees will also have the opportunity to be mentored by senior researchers to refine their academic writing and oral presentation skills and boost their chances to have their papers published at the future top conferences. For more information, please visit the New in ML website.