The 10th Lisbon Machine Learning School (LxMLS) went remote due to the COVID-19 pandemic. World renowned speakers and participants from all continents shared their ideas virtually. More than 240 machine learning enthusiasts from 51 different countries participated in this year’s edition.
“We decided not to cancel the event, but instead use an online format”, says Mário Figueiredo, Técnico professor and IT researcher. “Naturally, a virtual event is quite different and there are several problems that need to be solved, such as the time difference, which can impact the outcome of a meeting”, highlights the professor. “The organising team was fully committed and have managed to put the 10th LxMLS into operation, including the laboratory remote sessions”, stresses the IT researcher.
The event started last Tuesday, June 21, and brought together twelve guest speakers from different countries, from the academic and business world, like Google. “We have once again highly acclaimed speakers and a programme that is on a par with previous editions, including the laboratories, which are one of LxMLS branding images”, adds the professor.
The 10th edition of LxLMS includes a discussion panel entitled “Careers in ML / NLP”, “in which several people who attended previous editions as students will share their experience as professionals (in companies or in academia) in this area ”, highlights the Técnico professor.
According to professor Mário Figueiredo “the essence of these events is lost without the physical presence, lunch conversations, coffee breaks and the usual social interaction of a summer school”. The organisation attempted to bridge this gap and used gather.town, which allow participants to meet and chat. “Naturally, this is not the same as real face-to-face conversations”, says professor Mário Figueiredo.
Still, we must look at the benefits of this online edition. The most evident is the possibility of taking LxMLS further and to reach more people, since all presentations are broadcast live on Youtube. “This may contribute to further increase the visibility of LxMLS. For example, the presentations on day 0 have already had more than 1500 views”, says professor Mário Figueiredo.
Throughout these 10 editions, LxLMS has been gaining considerable prestige and attracting more attention and participants, which according to professor Mário Figueiredo “is due to the high quality of the programme and speakers, and a very well organised and friendly team”.