NIPS Tickets Sell Out in Less Than 12 Minutes

Registration opened at 8:00 a.m. PDT today for December’s NIPS 2018 (Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems) in Montreal. The early birds were the fortunate ones this year — as tickets for the main conference were all snapped up less than a dozen minutes later.

The NIPS official account tweeted “The main conference sold out in 11 minutes 38 seconds.” Synced notes that tickets for tutorials and workshops also sold out in about 30 minutes.

This “NIPS hype” has caused quite a stir on social media, with comments such as “NIPS registration just opened…. uh aaaand tickets are sold out!” and “ML conferences selling out like Beyonce tickets.”

Kaggle CTO Ben Hamner tweeted, “For those debating ML hype, getting a ticket to a ML conference is now more challenging than a Taylor Swift conference or a Hamilton showing.”

First held in 1987, NIPS was initially an interdisciplinary meeting for researchers exploring biological and artificial neural networks. Since the biological and artificial systems research streams diverged in the 1990s, NIPS has focused on machine learning, AI and statistics, and has grown into one of the world’s top AI conferences.

NIPS 2017 sold out in about two weeks, with 8,000 attendees flocking to Long Beach, California. This year, tickets went 1000 times faster.

NIPS receives thousands of paper submissions each year, and had a record-high 3,240 submissions in 2017. NIPS’ peer reviewer selection process however recently come under question in the AI community, triggered by a Reddit post several months ago from a predoctoral student selected as a NIPS reviewer — who many argued lacked the education or experience to qualify as a paper reviewer for such a prestigious conference.

NIPS 2018 runs Monday Dec 3 through Saturday Dec 8 at the Palais des Congrès de Montréal.

Journalist: Fangyu Cai, Tony Peng | Editor: Michael Sarazen

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