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Australia Will Host World’s Largest Machine Learning Conference in 2021

NeurIPS Conference 2021

CSIRO’s Data61, the data science arm of Australia’s national science agency, led the successful bid, in partnership with strategic bidding organisation BESydney with the active support of the New South Wales (NSW) Government, to bring NeurIPS to Sydney.

According to a recent press release, NeurIPS is the largest and most prestigious machine learning conference in the world. It has grown each year, attracting about 13,000 machine learning specialists to the event, which is taking place in Vancouver, Canada, this week.

Background of the Initiative

Artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) systems are growing exponentially around the world and is estimated to generate $22.17 trillion to the global economy by 2030.

The Australian Government’s Artificial Intelligence Technology Roadmap, developed by Data61, identified Australia’s need for up to 161,000 new specialist AI workers by 2030.

The strong machine learning research community of Australia was fundamental to the successful bid.

Australia is home to world-leading research in machine learning and artificial intelligence, with its universities and research organisations.

This past year, the researchers applied AI and machine learning to assist in diagnosing complex mental health disorders, detect disease outbreaks and ‘vaccinate’ algorithms against adversarial attacks.

NSW Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney, Stuart Ayres, explained that NeurIPS 2021 would deliver more than $45.2million in direct expenditure to the NSW economy.

However, the soft power of attracting such a prestigious event to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time should not be underestimated.

About the Conference

  • NeurIPS Conference 2021 will bring together thousands of machine learning specialists to share the latest research and discuss key issues including the ethical design and deployment of machine learning.
  • NeurIPS 2021 will propel Australia’s research and innovative discoveries to the forefront.
  • It would bring opportunities for trade and investment and talent attraction as well as help build Sydney’s brand as an intellectual capital.
  • Hosting the high-profile global meeting would put Sydney and Australia firmly on the map for this burgeoning field, particularly after hosting the successful International Conference on Machine Learning in 2017.
  • New skills in AI are in demand globally and demand is outstripping supply, which can be addressed through global meetings such as this.
  • NeurIPS 2021 in Sydney will attract significant attendance from the big names in technology and representatives from world-leading universities.
  • They will meet with their Australian counterparts to exchange best practices and potentially collaborate on their efforts.
  • Bringing the NeurIPS conference to Australia is a significant step as it will be the first time in its history that they are coming together in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • It is part of the foundation’s ongoing mission to bolster the global community of AI and machine learning researchers.
  • This would create opportunities for them to continue to connect in new ways and new places, especially locations like Australia where there is growing interest and investment in this important field of technology.
  • NeurIPS will take place at International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) in November 2021.


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