Sydney to host NeurIPS conference in 2021

Australia has won its bid to host a major international machine learning event, the Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS), in 2021.

CSIRO’s Data61, in partnership with strategic bidding organisation BESydney and with support from NSW state government, led the successful bid for the event, which will take place at the International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) in November 2021.

The conference has taken place outside North America twice before, with Granada and Barcelona hosting NeurIPS in 2011 and 2016 respectively.

Dr Richard Nock, head of the machine learning research group at CSIRO’s Data61, said Australia’s strong machine learning research community was fundamental to the successful bid.

“Between our universities and research organisations, Australia is home to world-leading research in machine learning and artificial intelligence,” Nock said.

“NeurIPS 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 and it is a great opportunity for Australia to be at the centre of this conversation.”

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

“At a time when our Australian economy is rapidly transitioning, and in a city like Sydney, with its incredible depth of intellectual firepower, NeurIPS 2021 will propel Australia’s research and innovative discoveries to the forefront – bringing with it opportunities for trade and investment and talent attraction as well as helping to build Sydney’s brand as an intellectual capital,” said Ayres.

Dr Terrence Sejnowski, president of the NeurIPS Foundation, which organises the global meeting each year, said NeurIPS was the world’s largest AI and machine learning conference, attracting over 10,000 attendees – a figure that is expected to continue to grow.

“Bringing the NeurIPS conference to Australia is a significant step as it will be the first time in our history we are coming together in the Asia-Pacific region,” Dr Sejnowski said.

“This is part of our ongoing mission to bolster the global community of AI and machine learning researchers and 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.”