day might avoid the problems encountered with competing tutorials in 2017.
IJCAI did this in 2016 and it was quite
Tom Dietterich reported that they have
not reached the fundraising goal yet,
so they are investigating other vehicles
for funding, such as funding agencies
or the Partnership for AI.
Kambhampati reported that AI Topics
is seeking a renewal of their contract
for two years at $20,000 per year. He
asked the Council to consider the various models currently being considered,
including AI Topics, AI Hub and the
expansion of AI Magazine. Tom Dietterich explained that AI Hub will feed
off of AI Topics, as AI Hub is just an
aggregator for these kinds of services.
Hamilton noted that both AI Hub and
the AI Magazine expansion are in the
rudimentary stages, and encouraged
the Council to continue AI Topics at
this time. Currently, there is $10,000
in the 2018 budget. The request was
referred to the Executive Committee
for a final recommendation.
Social Media Volunteers
Kambhampati is seeking volunteers to
help with social media alerts on Facebook and Twitter. Tom Dietterich volunteered to help, and Jennifer Neville
is also helping with this effort. Hamilton noted that a staff member might
be able to help with routine posts.
Conflict of Interest
Ted Senator presented an overview of
the current concept for the AAAI Conflict of Interest statement, which is
intended to elaborate the responsibilities of the Executive Council. It further
defines the duty of loyalty, one of the
three primary duties of Executive
Council members. Often conflict of
interest statements refer directly to
financial dealings — a subject also
covered in the AAAI Bylaws — but
this iteration is intended to be a bit
broader in scope.
Due to the many hats that coun-
cilors wear in their professional and
volunteer commitments, this docu-
ment is meant to address issues that
might arise with regard to split loyal-
ties. In general, it is the responsibility
of the individual to disclose a conflict
meetings, and it is unclear what level
of real participation some of these
meetings want, if any. The Council felt
strongly that there should be some
mechanism for AAAI to showcase
recent advances in AI if we are going to
lend our name to the event. On the
other hand, some meetings may not be
ones that we want to lend our name to
at all. Kambhampati noted that having
clearer policies in place is necessary to
deal with the current requests. Hamil-
ton will provide a recap of these
requests so that the committee can bet-
ter assess the need and direction to go.
The Council also discussed whether
AAAI should sponsor and organize its
own industry event. Senator noted,
and others agreed, that we do not have
expertise in this kind of conference
organization, and it would be difficult
to compete in this arena. Instead, we
should try to leverage the current
interest in AI in order to showcase IAAI
deployed applications or other noteworthy research trends on AI.
Gil suggested connecting more with
research in industry, developing outreach efforts to involve those individuals and labs more in our activities.
Concentrating our efforts on industry
conferences that are focused on markets and forecasting would be quite
removed from AAAI’s research focus.
Creating a channel for academics to
connect with industry would be quite
valuable for members and conference
attendees. We could sponsor a forum
where people could come to find out
about a wide spectrum of research in AI
— not just machine learning or data
mining — but a whole range of technologies in AI.
Senator mentioned that KDD has
developed an invited track that features senior researchers in industry
who employ data science, and have
use applied data science to achieve a
research goal. The sessions tend to
attract large audiences, but do not
compete with the research conference.
Gil noted that the AI in Practice session at AAAI- 17 followed this model.
The AI in Practice event was not held
in 2018 for a variety of reasons, includ-
ing competing programs and the avail-
ability of local industry representatives
to speak. Kambhampati noted that
moving it to the afternoon of the last
of interest, in conjunction with inde-
pendent determination, meaning that
the individual cannot be the sole deter-
miner of a conflict of interest. Finally,
individuals must recuse themselves
from discussion of and final decisions
regarding an issue identified as a con-
flict of interest.
While there are well-established
principles for dealing with conflicts of
interest, Senator asked the group to
consider some of the ways that council
members might encounter conflicts of
Isbell asked if AAAI currently has a
process in place for independent deter-
mination, and Senator confirmed that
there is no process in place yet. He also
noted that in addition to determining
the process, the Council also has to
consider how it will be applied in the
future. Having a conflict of interest
statement and process in place is an
additional requirement of the IRS, and
appears as a question on the tax form.
AAAI councilors will be required to
acknowledge this policy in writing.
David Smith reported that he and
Ted Senator have been reviewing two
possible versions, and will draft a final
version. Kambhampati recommended
that the legal version required by the
IRS should be completed as soon as
possible, and reviewed by legal counsel. A second accompanying document
will be added later to encompass issues
that are unique to AAAI councilors and
program chairs. Isbell offered to assist
with the drafting of these documents.
Kambhampati adjourned the meeting
at 3: 45 PM.