Mila at ICML 2022: advancing the state-of-the-art in AI

Sunday, July 17 marked the start of the thirty-ninth International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML 2022) in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. 

Until this Saturday, Mila researchers will be presenting 30 accepted papers in the oral, spotlight, and poster tracks across a variety of topics, such as Multi-scale Feature Learning Dynamics, GFlowNets (for biological sequence design and discrete probabilistic modeling), and state-of-the-art generalization and robustness for controlling large collections of reinforcement learning agents.

In addition, several members are co-hosting or participating in workshops, namely Women in Machine Learning (WiML), Hardware-aware efficient training (HAET), and Responsible Decision Making in Dynamic Environments.

A Social Event Promoting NLP for African Languages

Bonaventure Dossou, a research intern at Mila from Jacobs University Bremen in Germany—whose work explores applying natural language processing (NLP) generative models to drug discovery—co-organized a social event to increase African presence at top-tier conferences like ICML and bring novel AI technologies to Africa.

“African languages are considered low-resource languages, which reduces the discoverability of meaningful African works, research and authors,” said Dossou. “We need to create and work on an ecosystem that favours the development of AI in Africa. AI is a revolution that we cannot miss.”

NLP has drastically improved machine translation systems in recent years. Yet, data scarcity of the vast majority of the world's languages remains a significant roadblock to expanding translation systems and inclusivity, which is why prominent industry players like Meta AI and Google are actively working to bring more languages to the field of AI.