Since starting its journey in 2013, the International Conference on Learning Representations (ICLR) conference is acting as a breakthrough venture to introduce and share technological achievements. The conference features various research and achievements in the field of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. It is the largest of the three major global conferences on Artificial Intelligence followed by ICML and NeurIPS. The conference features oral, as well as poster presentation on various referred research papers in the field. Meanwhile, it also hosts several invited talks from industrial and scientific leaders in the field.
The conference has an open peer review process for accepting papers for presentation within the conference. The conference receives a huge array of submissions from researchers and teams from across the world. The peer review team is mandated to select the best paper for presentation in the conference every year. The conference attracts papers from research teams located within the Research and development departments of several industry leaders like Google, Microsoft, etc.
A Glimpse of ICLR 2021
ICLR 2021 was held in the month of May. This year, the conference received 2997 submissions, of which 860 papers were accepted for presentation. The conference was held round the clock. Each day, there were two invited talks from leading researchers and scientists from the field of machine learning. The rest of the program featured pre-recoded video presentations from researchers on their work.
The conference received 6194 registrations for the presentation and workshops. In addition to these events, this year’s ICLR conference also hosted virtual mentoring sessions for the participants, giving them an opportunity to discussing various topics around AI Artificial Intelligence and machine learning related research.
Will Industry Players Dominate future AI Research?
Like most iterations of the conference, even this year, most of the papers presented came from academics. Yet, the tech companies were conspicuous by their presence. 250 out of the 860, that is about 30% of all papers presented, were from researchers associated with tech companies like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, IBM etc.
Among the tech companies, Google had the lion’s share of the papers presented. Researchers from Google presented about 100 papers, some of which even received the ‘outstanding paper’ awards. This was followed by Microsoft with 53 papers. Out of the eight outstanding paper awards, four were bagged by Google and one by researchers from Facebook’s reality labs.
Not only did these companies showcase their amazing research, some of them even stood as the sponsorers of the program. These initiatives by big tech giants might make us wonder if they are really the future of Artificial Intelligence AI research. Based on the observations and the quality of work big tech company scientists delivered, it directly and the indirect impact their funds on the nature of research conducted by academia. More or less, these companies have high chance of dominating and driving innovation in the technology sphere.