Release from Organizers
Dear Members of ECAI Community,
As indicated in our March 13 statement, we have been monitoring the situation created by the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak and the COVID-19 disease, in order to assess if any concern regarding the safety of the conference has dissipated. Since the evolution of the pandemic and the mobility constraints still in place make it difficult planning, we believe that the most reasonable decision is to hold ECAI 2020 fully online. This is why today we are happy to announce the new Digital ECAI2020, with the idea of organizing a truly digital congress which will not be simply the digitalization of a congress that was initially planned to be face-to-face.
We are sure that, even with the difficulties and limitations of not celebrating a face-to-face meeting, we will offer the world a conference of the highest scientific level in AI, with a greater possibility of debate and interaction, which keeps the sense of community among ECAI attendees. We will also host social events that will not be able to fully replace the postponed opportunity of being together in Santiago de Compostela, but aim to keep involvement and engagement with all of you and even increase your desire to visit Santiago soon.
Although in the forthcoming days we will keep providing you with further details, let us summarize here the most relevant changes.
Conference schedule and development
The Main Conference schedule is extended for one day, being now from 31 August to 3 September. This will allow us not to have very long sessions everyday (as is strongly advised by organizers of other online conferences) as well as avoiding huge parallelism in the technical sessions. Having one extra day provides a good balance for both issues.
There will be 419 presentations at the Digital ECAI2020: 5 plenary talks, 374 oral presentations (from both ECAI and PAIS), 36 posters, 4 invited talks in “Frontiers in AI”, plus 34 workshops, 29 tutorials and Women in AI. Starting AI Researchers will be able to attend also to the Doctoral Consortium, Job Fair, Meeting with an EurAI Fellow, STAIRS, … Furthermore, co-located events such as Exhibits, Lab2Market, panels and others will be announced in the forthcoming weeks.
Each oral presentation will consist of a pre-recorded video (12 minutes), followed by a live Q&A video and chat session for synchronized interaction with the authors. Special guidance will be provided to authors providing them with guidelines and tools for producing their videos. In addition to the pre-recorded oral presentations there will be livestreamed keynote presentations, opening and closing sessions, as well as mentoring and other sessions. Video presentations will be made available online at the conference platform well in advance of each session and will be hosted for free open-access indefinitely, thus making them accessible for the interested audience after the conference without limitations.
Posters sessions will consist of a scheduled session where attendants to the session will have live Q/A interaction with each author. Each poster will consist of a single slide which will also be accessible on the conference website.
Each day we will have 3 technical sessions, one social event and one plenary talk, as shown in the Conference Schedule Overview. Since there is no ideal time, the choice of timing for the plenary sessions is a compromise between the recommendations and changes in the slots which will allow most of the world to participate in most of the program (although for some specific cases with some sacrifice).
The five keynote talks and the four Frontiers in AI invited talks will be livestreamed at their designated time. The talk will be 45 minutes followed by a 15 minute live Q&A session with the speaker. Questions can be posted via chat, and the talk chairperson will moderate interaction.
Workshops, tutorials and other events
The respective chairs and organizers will decide about each workshop format and dates. ECAI will provide similar technical support (online platform) as for the main conference, but it will be each organizer decision. In order to allow for more flexibility for scheduling, two extra days right after the conference will also be available for Workshops and Tutorials. Therefore, Workshops and Tutorials can be scheduled on 29-30 August or 4-5 September.
Digital ECAI2020 will also allow you, as an attendee, to enjoy a wide range of social events. It won’t be exactly the same as if you were in Santiago de Compostela, but pretty close to it. They will be live events and you will be able to participate in them. You will be able to…
- … join us on a walk along the Way of Saint James, seeing some beautiful places and learning about its history, have the chance to give your opinion and ask questions to experts.
- … learn about the history of one of the oldest universities in the world, that of Santiago de Compostela, founded in 1495.
- … know the Portico of Glory of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, a Romanesque portico and the cathedral’s main gate created by Master Mateo, and attending a concert using the instruments carved in stone in the 12th century in the central archivolt of the portico.
- … see how to cook some typical Galician dishes and to see the food with which they are prepared, visiting the main market of the old part of the city of Santiago.
You will have the chance to learn something about Santiago de Compostela and Galicia, about CiTIUS, the research centre on Intelligent Technologies, and about the University of Santiago de Compostela, about Galician history, culture and gastronomy, the Way of Saint James… and discover the sound of the Galician bagpipe, played by the best Galician musician ever.
Although it will be through the Internet, it will be live, it will be interactive and we are sure that if you have already been here, you will come back very soon and if you have not been yet, you will come even earlier.
New registration policy
A new paper processing fee will be the only we keep for the conference, to be paid by any of the paper authors.
As originally planned, Digital ECAI2020 proceedings, including the main conference and the PAIS papers, will be published OA, as usual, in IOS Press Ebook Series Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications (FAIA) on August 29. This series is indexed in all major databases. Authors should register before June 30, since in case no registration has been received and correctly processed to cover a paper publication, the paper will be removed from the proceedings. One fee is valid for covering all the papers of which the registered person is a co-author (should this be stated when registering).
All other Conference registration fees are removed, including Workshops fee (1 day, 2 days), Mentoring and Communication for Early Researchers (MC4SR), Tutorials and others. Also EurAI member/non-member and early/late/onsite registration categories are dropped. This means that access to all the conference contents will be free of charge to all attendants (subject to registration at the online platform) without limit, during and after the conference, as indicated in what follows:
- Full unlimited access to all the Digital ECAI2020 contents during and after the conference dates, including:
- Oral presentations and posters
- EU Challenges
- Frontiers in AI
- Women in AI, etc
- Full Proceedings (online)
- All 34 Workshops
- All 24 Tutorials
- Mentoring and Communication for Starting AI Researchers (MC4SR):
- Doctoral Consortium
- Job Fair
- Meeting with an EurAI Fellow
- Social Development of AI event, organized by FIDE
ECAI2020 registration policy was designed to encourage the participation of as many people as possible, particularly students. In fact, for these the registration was very low, in spite of including absolutely all the activities of the congress, and offering an extensive program for Starting AI Researchers. The objective of Digital ECAI2020 remains the same, but being an online congress, our commitment goes further, allowing free full registration to the Conference for anyone, anywhere in the world, with free access to all the Conference contents and activities.
An online congress does not have the same costs as a face-to-face one, logically. In any case, there are expenses that remain, like all those associated with the management and publication of the proceedings, while costs that did not exist before now appear. In this sense, the contributions of the sponsors and the authors continue to be indispensable, above all to organize a Conference at the level of the scientific quality of ECAI2020. Taking all this into account, we have designed a new registration policy with a standard registration fee of 350 euros per paper, although we maintain the option that the registered author or co-author can be a student, in which case the registration fee will continue to be 190 euros, and that one registration still continues to allow the publication of more than one paper.
Whenever possible, however, we would appreciate it if a paper comes with at least a standard registration, so that we are on the safe side with respect to covering expenses, and as a collective contribution to the free access policy to the conference and its proceedings.
The updated registration fees for Digital ECAI2020 therefore are:
- Paper processing fee (standard): 350€
- Paper processing fee (student): 190€
- Conference registration (inc. all contents): FREE
Standard fee is recommended whenever possible. Anyway, the student paper processing fee will be applied only when a student presents the paper. Otherwise, a standard fee applies.
A refund mechanism has been implemented for those persons who have registered yet and should be refunded according to this new policy. Refunds will start to be processed immediately.
The new information, policies and dates will be updated in ECAI2020 website as soon as possible.
As you imagine, a complex conference of the size and scope of ECAI has required us to think carefully about the situation and make this decision, which is taken keeping the conference attendants’ health as our primary concern. We hope that all of you will be a part of this new Digital ECAI2020 we are starting to build today.
Jérôme Lang, General Conference Chair
Giuseppe De Giacomo, Program Committee Chair
Senén Barro, Organizing Commitee Chair
Barry O’Sullivan, EurAI Chair
Updated: June 8, 2020