industry professionals aware of opportunities at AAAI.
Gil noted that formal collaborations
could be set up between AAAI and
individual companies to enhance their
experience at the conference. The
committee had three sets of recommendations: short-term, mid-term,
and long-term. Gil would like the
Council to focus on the short and mid-term recommendations for now.
In the short-term, the committee
recommends advertising (especially via
social media) the availability of AAAI
opportunities for industry, such as conference events, chapters, the job bank,
and senior member and fellows programs, and to develop industry memberships to create stable and continuous relationships with industry.
In the mid-term, the Council should
reimagine industry events at the conference, including more participation
from outside of AAAI for IAAI; more
panels, speakers, and events that
would appeal to industry; technical
matchmaking lunches for industry and
PhD students and faculty; and a collaboration fair with short pitch presentations.
Other suggestions included, but
were not limited to, holding another
“AI in Practice” event when the conference is held in a location conducive
to good participation; including industry features at all AAAI events, and
establishing an industry advisory
board for AAAI.
Gil suggested that a few key people
be recruited to promote these programs via social media. Karen Myers
(IAAI- 19 Conference Chair) is working
to implement some of the suggestions
related to IAAI as soon as 2019.
In the longer term, the committee
suggested hiring a staff member to
handle communications with industry, as well as to establish an industry-focused award, such as “Best Application” or Best AI Software,” for example.
Gil solicited feedback from the
Council, and Kambhampati expressed
his support for having the AI in Prac-
tice event in conjunction with the
Spring Symposium every year, and
encouraged the committee to consider
having it as early as 2019. He also was
enthusiastic about the idea of corpo-
rate memberships, and encouraged the
membership committee to consider
appropriate fees and benefits for this
type of ongoing affiliation status.
Freuder agreed to take this idea to
the membership committee for feedback for review at the September meeting. With regard to the best AI Application award, and perhaps at the AI in
Practice event, and he noted that a
similar award is being considered by
Peter Stone suggested that a pitch
competition, hosted by a Bay Area venture capitalist, would be a great addition to AI in Practice. He noted that a
committee could be formed to select a
few papers at the AAAI conference, and
encourage the authors to bring their
idea to the spring symposium with a
Gil reminded the Council to send
names of potential “tweeters.”
AAAI Code of Conduct
David Smith reported that the document drafted at the February meeting
was reviewed by the lawyer, who made
some edits to the document. He also prepared some overall comments, which
Smith reviewed with the Council.
Of particular note, the lawyer stated
that if we adopt the current Code of
Conduct, we are obligated to follow
through with any procedures or sanctions that we stipulate in the document. AAAI would need to have a
mechanism in place to deal with violations, and be serious about enforcing it
to avoid any liability.
Freuder inquired about liability for
individual councilors. Although a legal
opinion about this is required, AAAI
does have professional liability insurance for its Executive Council members and other key personnel, which
would cover legal costs, unless negligence is determined.
Dietterich and Smith noted that we
could be sued in order to force action
on our part, or for failing to deal with
violations. The second point empha-
sized by the lawyer was that members
who fail to live up to the terms of the
Code of Conduct could be sued by a
third party if they failed to live up to a
specific duty, so the Council should
consider how the Code of Conduct
might possibly affect individual mem-
bers. Finally, the Code of Conduct, as
drafted, has wide-reaching implica-
tions for several specialty areas of the
law, such as privacy, intellectual prop-
erty, and should probably be reviewed
by a specialist that deals with non-
Smith suggested that the Code of
Conduct could be revised with the
lawyer’s recommendations in mind,
and then could be reviewed by a specialist.
Gil noted that ACM has recently
adopted a Code of Ethics that might
provide some guidance as the Council
moves forward with the AAAI document. This particular document is
more educational and aspirational in
tone about what ACM members
should consider as an appropriate
Code of Ethics for their professional
lives. Gil suggested that AAAI could
follow this example to address some of
the lawyer’s concerns.
Kambhampati noted that a number
of other procedural documents hinge
on the adoption of the AAAI Code of
Conduct (or Ethics), and the hope is
that the document can be finalized
very soon in order to move forward
with the implementation of these other procedures, such as a Code of Conduct for the AAAI Conference. However, it appears that having a Code of
Conduct with stated sanctions will
open up the Association for liability.
On the other hand, conference attendees expect conference organizers to
explicitly state their expectations for
acceptable conference conduct, as well
as the basic ethical tenets of the organizing society.
Freuder noted that there are issues of
harassment or other infractions that
need to be addressed in some manner.
Cynthia Rudin expressed her concern about the current Code of Conduct not stipulating explicit consequences for violations, and suggested
that more concrete consequences
might be less problematic legally and
less open to varying interpretations.
Gil reminded the Council about Callisto, an organization that records violations of discrimination and harassment across different universities, and
may be expanding to include conferences. She will be meeting with them
about adopting AAAI so that any
reports of these types of violations can
be reported to them.