ICLR 2021 Social on Open Collaboration in ML Research

Making AI research more inviting, inclusive, and accessible is a difficult task, but the movement to do so is close to many researchers' hearts. Progress toward democratizing AI research has been centered around making knowledge (e.g. class materials), established ideas (e.g. papers), and technologies (e.g. code) more accessible. However, open, online resources are only part of the equation. Growth as a researcher requires not only learning by consuming information individually, but hands-on practice whiteboarding, coding, plotting, debugging, and writing collaboratively, with either mentors or peers.

Of course, making "collaborators" more universally accessible is fundamentally more difficult than, say, ensuring all can access arXiv papers, because scaling people and research groups is much harder than scaling websites.

Can we nevertheless make access to collaboration itself more open? Can we flatten access to peers and mentors so the opportunities available to those at the best industrial and academic labs are more broadly available to all entrants to our burgeoning field? How can we kick-start remote, non-employment based research collaborations more effectively? This social is designed to discuss these topics and help you meet potential collaborators, find interesting ideas, and kick-start your next project.

Date & Time

The social will be Thursday, 6 May 2021, UTC 19:00 - 23:00. Here's a calendar event to help with timezones.


All times in PT.        [Join Zoom] [Join Gatheround] [Join Gather.town]

Time Event
12 - 12:10pm [Zoom]
Opening remarks (slides). Welcome from organizers, and introductions to supporting communities: MLC, MLT, For.ai, Cohere, EleutherAI
12:10 - 12:30pm Find a Project: BigScience, by Thomas Wolf
12:30 - 1:00pm Find a Project: RFP presentations (Part 1)
   1. Sam Greydanus, Constructing knowledge neurons
   2. Yaroslav Bulatov, Stable learning rates
   3. Edward Elson Kosasih, Flexible Subgraph Extraction for Link Prediction
   4. David Drakard, Universal neural network fragments
   5. Rosanne Liu, Safe Regions for Neurons
1:00 - 1:30pm [Gatheround]
Meet a Collaborator: 1:1 timed hangout on Gatheround
1:30 - 1:50pm [Zoom]
Find a Project: BIG-bench, by Ambrose Slone
1:50 - 2:20pm Find a Project: RFP presentations (Part 2)
   6. Abhishek Kumar, Fitting images with Autoencoders
   7. Benjamin Sanchez-Lengeling, Graph Reasoning and Initialization
   8. Jonathan Frankle, What parameterizations represent trained networks
   9. Xuanyi Chew, On The Bias Towards Base-10 Numbers In Language Models
   10. Connor Leahy, Scaling Laws of Abstractions
2:20 - 2:25pm Wrap up presentations
2:25 - 4:00pm [Gatheround] or [Gather.town]
Choose your own adventure: join a second round of Gatheround, or directly head to Gather.town for games, small discussions, RFP discussions, and lightweight hangout.


  1. Brian Cheung, MIT & ML Collective
  2. Connor Leahy, EleutherAI
  3. Janice Lan, FAIR & ML Collective
  4. Jason Yosinski, ML Collective
  5. Natalie Summers, OpenAI
  6. Rosanne Liu, ML Collective & Google Brain
  7. Ryan Teehan, Charles River Analytics
  8. Siddhartha Kamalakara, Cohere & FOR.ai
  9. Suzana Ilić, Machine Learning Tokyo