Artificial intelligence’s rise exposes gaping gender gap

The challenges of making the technology industry a more welcoming place for women are numerous.

That’s especially true for the booming field of artificial intelligence.

To get a sense of just how monumental a task the tech community faces, look no further than AI’s marquee conference.

Preparations for this year’s event drew controversy not only because there weren’t enough female speakers or research paper authors.

The debate was more basic: It involved the conference name.

The annual Conference and Workshop on Neural Information Processing Systems, formerly known as NIPS, had become a punchline symbol of tech’s gender imbalance.

Thousands of AI researchers convened in Montreal last week under a slightly tweaked banner — NeurIPS — and new industry attention devoted to combatting harassment and sexism.

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