NIPS name remains unchanged – reddit discussion
Dear members of the Neural Information Processing Systems community,
Something remarkable has happened in our community. The name NeurIPS has sprung up organically as an alternative acronym, and we’re delighted to see it being adopted. Indeed, one forward-thinking member of the community purchased neurips.com and described the site’s purpose as “…host[ing] the conference content under a different acronym… until the board catches up.”
We’ve caught up! We were considering alternative acronyms when the community support for NeurIPS became apparent. We ask all attendees this year to respect this solution from the community and to use the new acronym in order that the conference focus can be on science and ideas.
We have taken several actions to support this acronym. First, all signage and the program booklet for the 2018 meeting will refer either to the full conference name or to NeurIPS. Second, we’ve asked sponsors to do the same in their materials and publicity, to the extent possible at this late date. Third, we will hire a branding company to design a new logo for the conference. Fourth, we’ve moved the conference site to neurips.cc, and the owner of neurips.com, Peter Henderson, has graciously donated the domain name to the Foundation.
Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to share thoughts and concerns regarding this important issue. The Neural Information Processing Systems community has a lot of people working very hard, and with much passion, to make the conference the best it can be. We look forward to continuing this conversation at the Town Hall during the conference.
Corinna Cortes (Program Chair 2014, General Chair 2015)
Isabelle Guyon (Program Chair 2016, General Chair 2017)
Neil Lawrence (Program Chair 2014, General Chair 2015)
Daniel Lee (Program Chair 2015, General Chair 2016)
Ulrike von Luxburg (Program Chair 2016, General Chair 2017)
Michael Mozer (Secretary, Program Chair 1995, General Chair 1996)
Terrence Sejnowski (President)
Marian Stewart Bartlett (Treasurer)
Masashi Sugiyama (Program Chair 2015, General Chair 2016)
Max Welling (Program Chair 2013, General Chair 2014)
Note that the Board of Trustees is distinct from the 2018 Organizing Committee and the Neural Information Processing Systems Foundation Advisory Board, which is comprised of General Chairs of prior meetings.
NIPS Foundation Board Concludes Name Change Deliberations
Conference name will not change; continued focus on diversity and inclusivity initiatives
Montreal, October 22 2018 — The Board of Trustees of the Neural Information Processing Systems Foundation has decided not to change the name of their main conference. The Board has been engaged in ongoing discussions concerning the name of the Neural Information Processing Systems, or NIPS, conference. The current acronym, NIPS, has undesired connotations. The Name-of-NIPS Action Team was formed, in order to better understand the prevailing attitudes about the name. The team conducted polls of the NIPS community requesting submissions of alternative names, rating the existing and alternative names, and soliciting additional comments. The polling conducted by the the Team did not yield a clear consensus, and no significantly better alternative name emerged.
Aware of the need for a more substantive approach to diversity and inclusivity that the call for a name change points to, this year NIPS has increased its focus on diversity and inclusivity initiatives. The NIPS code of conduct was implemented, two Inclusion and Diversity chairs were appointed to the organizing committee and, having resolved a longstanding liability issue, the NIPS Foundation is introducing childcare support for NIPS 2018 Conference in Montreal. In addition, NIPS has welcomed the formation of several co-located workshops focused on diversity in the field. Longstanding supporters of the co-located Women In Machine Learning workshop (WiML) NIPS is extending support to additional groups, including Black in AI (BAI), Queer in AI@NIPS, Latinx in AI (LXAI), and Jews in ML (JIML).
Dr. Terrence Sejnowski, president of the NIPS Foundation, says that even though the data on the name change from the survey did not point to one concerted opinion from the NIPS community, focusing on substantive changes will ensure that the NIPS conference is representative of those in its community. “As the NIPS conference continues to grow and evolve, it is important that everyone in our community feels that NIPS is a welcoming and open place to exchange ideas. I’m encouraged by the meaningful changes we’ve made to the conference, and more changes will be made based on further feedback.”
About The Conference On Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS)
Over the past 32 years, the Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) conference has been held at various locations around the world.The conference is organized by the NIPS Foundation, a non-profit corporation whose purpose is to foster insights into solving difficult problems by bringing together researchers from biological, psychological, technological, mathematical, and theoretical areas of science and engineering.
In addition to the NIPS Conference, the NIPS Foundation manages a continuing series of professional meetings including the International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) and the International Conference on Learning Representations (ICLR).