ICML 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.

Call for Stories

If you have been, or are still trying to be, an open-collab-er, and had memorable stories about the experience, come share them at the social! It is pretty informal, and nothing will be recorded. Let others know what your experience had been and hear the same from other — that's how an effective community is built.

Submit your story no later than July 20, anywhere on earth, to be considered a panelist during our Open Collab Story Time (see schedule below)!

Date & Time

The social will be Thursday, 22 July 2021, 8 a.m. PDT — 11 a.m. PDT. Here's a calendar event to help with timezones.


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

Time Event
8:00 - 9:00am [Zoom]
Open Collab Story Time. Have you attempted to carry out an external collaboration with someone? What was that experience like? Add yourself to the list of panelists of this session if you have either a "good story" or "horror story" to tell.
9:00 - 9:30am [Zoom]
Game Time: kahoot! Guess what kind of paper it is from Figure 1!
9:30 - 10:00am [Gatheround]
Meet a kindred spirit: 1:1 timed hangout on Gatheround
10:00 - 11:00am [Gatheround] or [Gather.town]
Choose your own adventure: join a second round of Gatheround, or directly head to Gather.town for group discussions and lightweight hangout.


  1. Luis Granados, ML Collective
  2. Brenda Ng, Lawrence Livermore National Lab
  3. Suzana Ilić, HuggingFace & MLT
  4. Alex Gu, MIT
  5. Jason Yosinski, ML Collective
  6. Rosanne Liu, ML Collective & Google