ICLR 2024 Blogposts Track

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2024-04-13 08:00:06

The Machine Learning community is currently experiencing a reproducibility crisis and a reviewing crisis [Littman, 2021]. Because of the highly competitive and noisy reviewing process of ML conferences [Tran et al., 2020], researchers have an incentive to oversell their results, slowing down the progress and diminishing the integrity of the scientific community. Moreover with the growing number of papers published and submitted at the main ML conferences [Lin et al., 2020], it has become more challenging to keep track of the latest advances in the field.

Blog posts are becoming an increasingly popular and useful way to talk about science [Brown and Woolston, 2018]. They offer substantial value to the scientific community by providing a flexible platform to foster open, human, and transparent discussions about new insights or limitations of a scientific publication. However, because they are not as recognized as standard scientific publications, only a minority of researchers manage to maintain an active blog and get visibility for their efforts. Many are well-established researchers (Francis Bach, Ben Recht, Ferenc Huszár, Lilian Weng) or big corporations that leverage entire teams of graphic designers designer and writers to polish their blogs (Facebook AI, Google AI, DeepMind, OpenAI). As a result, the incentives for writing scientific blog posts are largely personal; it is unreasonable to expect a significant portion of the machine learning community to contribute to such an initiative when everyone is trying to establish themselves through publications.

Our goal is to create a formal call for blog posts at ICLR to incentivize and reward researchers to review past work and summarize the outcomes, develop new intuitions, or highlight some shortcomings. A very influential initiative of this kind happened after the Second World War in France. Because of the lack of up-to-date textbooks, a collective of mathematicians under the pseudonym Nicolas Bourbaki [Halmos 1957], decided to start a series of textbooks about the foundations of mathematics [Bourbaki, 1939]. In the same vein, we aim to provide a new way to summarize scientific knowledge in the ML community.

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