And here was I after reading the title thinking it would have been the Japanese who were complaining about it.
Like something out of HBO's TV satire Silicon Valley, Neural Information Processing Systems is one of the world's top AI conferences. Yes, N. I. P. S. NIPS. And a decision to keep calling it that has somewhat split the machine-learning community. NIPS is one of the must-attend AI events of the year for those working or …
Monday 29th October 2018 07:45 GMT frank ly
Does anyone remember travelleing wave amplifier tubes? They are called 'travelling wave tube amplifiers' now. I remember noticing the change in the literature and brochures many years ago.
The name of a conference doesn't make the attendees behave in a childish or sexist manner; that behavior is already present in them and will find an outlet or expression somehow, someway, anyway.
Monday 29th October 2018 10:30 GMT Richard Jones 1
New usage for old abbreviations also emerge, anyone else remember how Subscriber Trunk Dialling became the same as Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD)?
Given advanced sensitivity on one side and a moronic lack of sensitivity on the other perhaps a sensible code of conduct is the right and only way to handle the issue. It also has the great advantage of being rather more pervasive across society.
If a form of behaviour is wrong, it is wrong everywhere. In this case I submit it is the behaviour and the propensity to misbehave that is wrong and not just whatever the name of the conference, group or whatever happens to be
Tuesday 30th October 2018 09:31 GMT h4rm0ny
On the contrary, I think less of anyone who needs the name to be changed because "NIPS" upsets them. These people are over-sensitive ideologues just looking to be offended. They lose the respect I would give them by default through their behaviour. Ditto for those Californian politicians who have tried to get the terms "master" and "slave" removed frim computer terminology and feminist campaigner Adria Richards getting two developers fired because she overheard them making a joke about 'dongles'.
Some people you don't kowtow to. You tell them to grow up and stop trying to invent sexism and racism where there isn't any. Give them power and they'll just move on to policing the next piece of language. Fuck 'em.
Tuesday 30th October 2018 09:32 GMT Anonymous Coward
Wednesday 31st October 2018 10:48 GMT Bernard M. Orwell
"why are you turning this around into how it affects men?"
Because the desired outcome postulated by the complainant is a behavioral change in men, requiring them to think and respond differently to how they have previously. Therefore, this affects men. Therefore the men on this forum are talking about how it makes them feel and how they respond to it.
Or would you rather we all just shut up and do as we're told without debate or discussion? Perhaps we should check our privilege and stay silent?
Well, I have news for you.....
Monday 29th October 2018 08:24 GMT Anonymous Coward
I wonder if they are related to the people at GNU
Monday 29th October 2018 13:51 GMT Dave 126
Some people of all sexes evidently enjoy pvc costumes. My issue with The GIMP is that it doesn't contain the word paint, photo, picture or image in its abbreviated form - an admittedly small hurdle for a novice user, but small hurdles do add up for someone who is learning.
I don't know why some advocates of GNU/Linux are loath to make the system easier for would-be users.
Monday 29th October 2018 19:45 GMT Anonymous Coward
> "I don't know why some advocates of GNU/Linux are loath to make the system easier for would-be users."
You mean change the name "GIMP" to something that instantly brands the app as a graphics tool? Well okay, but it's not a system change, IMHO.
Lessee, what catchy hook to rename "The Gimp" to, hrmmmm...
"MyPrettyVectors"? Too precious.
"Paint-N-Stuff"? Not serious enough.
"Imaginarium"? Hasn't that been done already?
I give up. Only a simp messes with The Gimp!
Tuesday 30th October 2018 09:29 GMT DownUndaRob
Monday 29th October 2018 10:28 GMT 45RPM
Well either someone boobed or people are getting breastacularly upset about… well, the wrong thing. The Japanese might have cause to be upset but (hang on, as a bloke, let me check on this crowded train*) yes, I have nips too. We all do. And, dare I say it, we have noses too. And belly buttons. So if it’s considered inappropriate because it’s a body part then we, as a society, have got our priorities desperately wrong.
*and now I’m being arrested for indecent exposure. Jesus! People are so oversensitive!
Monday 29th October 2018 10:29 GMT Starace
Says more about the 'offended' than anyone else
If your mind strongly pushes you to an interpretation that gets you that upset it says more about the way you think than anything else.
If you frequently see language as racist or sexist then maybe it's you that's, well...
I also note a certain lack of inclusiveness and diversity among the complainers and their pet issues.
Monday 29th October 2018 13:53 GMT Wellyboot
Re: Says more about the 'offended' than anyone else
When someone is 'offended' by the mere existence of any alternative thought process, belief, way of life etc. there's precious little that can be done without reducing to their level of 'diversity intolerance' or feeding the next 'request' by acquiescence.
To complain about the acronym NIPS is nitpicking to excess about a schoolboy sniggery (ooo they said nips!) level of problem in a world where self identification as anything other than straight male or female is frequently life threatening.
Tuesday 30th October 2018 11:40 GMT Bernard M. Orwell
Monday 29th October 2018 10:29 GMT WonkoTheSane
Monday 29th October 2018 10:30 GMT Pascal Monett
An acronyvm is an acronym
If you don't like NIPS representing Neural Information Processing Systems, then you need to require a change to the title "Neural Information Processing Systems", because NIPS is the proper acronym for it. Just like Apollo 13 - it was the 13th flight whether you like it or not.
Take your mind out of the gutter and start being as adult as your age. Okay, stupid remark to a bunch of IT blokes, I know, but still : grow up.
That being said, the board could have sidestepped the entire issue by simply asking what attendees would like for a new acronym. Don't like NIPS ? Suggest a new one and put your money where your mouth is. It's easy to complain about something when you don't have to find a solution.
Monday 29th October 2018 10:31 GMT big_D
Is a bit racist, but it took me a couple of minutes to remember what you were referring to, because I haven't heard anyone referring to Japanese as Nips since I was a kid...
But this is a problem that keeps cropping up, a word or abbeviation is used and then it is suddenly used as slang for something else and the original meaning is wrong.
When I left the UK in early noughties, this wasn't a term I'd ever heard in relationship to nipples, which I assume is where the problem lies. Therefore the conference was using the abbreviation for 2 decades before it became common slang.
Monday 29th October 2018 10:31 GMT DropBear
Monday 29th October 2018 10:31 GMT thosrtanner
Monday 29th October 2018 11:11 GMT Rol
It was a fair vote!
"So, that's eighteen votes for a chicken supper and one vote for a vegetarian meal. I declare, by means of a fair and democratic vote, that chicken has won again. Thank you to all you foxes for your contribution in this process, and I wish the representative from the coup, who made this a credible and inclusive meeting, a safe journey home."
Tuesday 30th October 2018 09:31 GMT h4rm0ny
Re: It was a fair vote!
I call Crap Analogy time. Big difference between being eaten and not thinking a simple acronym is denigrating you. If it spelled out the N-word or something, sure - because that's extreme and looks contrived. But this is not.
Other way your analogy is bad is that the chicken in this case (political feminists) is pretending to speak for women as a whole. But most women are far smarter than to be offended by this. All chickens don't want to be eaten. Most women do not identify as feminists. Not in the modern sense.
Wednesday 31st October 2018 09:57 GMT dajames
Re: It was a fair vote!
... I wish the representative from the coup ... a safe journey home.
I know this was supposed to be humour, but it falls flat.
The thing that chickens may be housed in is a coop, not a coup ... a coup is a "blow", which might be what the foxes have achieved by winning the vote. The misspelling ruins the point.
Add to that the fact that chickens are far from vegetarian -- they eat grubs and worms ... as will foxes, if it's all they can get -- and the point is almost entirely lost.
Shame, because otherwise I quite enjoyed the comment.
Monday 29th October 2018 13:54 GMT Some Twat
Objections by those who contribute nothing, as ever
As ever, the Social Justice left (aka the creature wearing the left's skin, for unlike the actual left they utterly despise the working classes) are jumping on a cause and lecturing people - the thing is that in every fucking case it's people who contribute fuck all, who aren't interested at all in the thing they're trying to change, who just get on Twitter, see a fucking hashtag controversy and try to fuck shit up. Fuck em.
Tuesday 30th October 2018 09:33 GMT joeW
Re: Objections by those who contribute nothing, as ever
"Anima Anandkumar, director of research at Nvidia and a professor at the computer and mathematical sciences department at the California Institute of Technology, began circulating the #ProtestNIPS hashtag on Twitter"
Yeah, definitely sounds like a disinterested commie to me. Just as well your contributions to the machine learning field dwarf hers, or you'd look a bit silly right now.
Monday 29th October 2018 15:34 GMT John 104
So..., they wanted the survey to include people who didn't go to the conference because they didn't like the title (which I also thought was referring to slang for Japanese, post WWII). How exactly were they supposed to get these people to take the survey if they didn't know who they were? What an idiotic statement.
WiMLDS Workshop. This workshop is non-inclusive to men. How dare they be so sexist and divisive? Did they ask any men if they wanted to be part of this workshop? Perhaps if the men had known about the survey that the didn't take, they would have gotten surprising results?
Monday 29th October 2018 15:36 GMT Anonymous Coward
I have nipples too!
I've been really really careful since that Drupal developer got hit by the inclusion bus over what he did in his spare time with consenting adults
( https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/03/29/drupal_dev_banished/ )
This is just getting silly - don't they have more important stuff to be doing? "neural information processing systems" pretty good and I got this from "NIPS" and "AI"
You want to be angry (UK here BTW) about bad acronyms then (USA people) please go for the ironically named "PATRIOT act"
But seriously, I don't care and I find it hard to believe anyone who lives and breaths the stuff they do (like I do for stuff I attend) cares. If anything I'm grateful it has a vowel in it so there's no (or fewer) arguments about how to pronounce it!
I only thought of nipple because I was reading one of your subheadings, otherwise I'd have gone for like small playful bites.
OMG is "little nipper" short for "little nipple sucker?!?" - this has just hit me, ponder that for a moment. Or is it the nipping (the toothless "latching on") onto the nipples....
Monday 29th October 2018 15:39 GMT Charlie Clark
How long has the conference been running?
Since the 1980s and the PC brigade have only just noticed? If they're that bothered they just shouldn't go.
The NIPS acronym is distasteful, unprofessional, or inappropriate,
It is none of the above but a suitable abbreviation for the extremely wordy title Neural Imaging Processing Systems. Still maybe it could renamed to something like Boring Bastards Bore Each Other and Everyone Else.
Monday 29th October 2018 15:43 GMT Maty
Monday 29th October 2018 19:44 GMT Anonymous Coward
Monday 29th October 2018 19:46 GMT Anonymous Coward
The current set of all possible two, three, and four letter acronyms (TTFA) is already ridiculously overloaded.
If the perpetually in need of being offended PC crowd is allowed to there will be only a few thousand of these left, at which point they will be so badly overloaded that they will be totally useless.
These people can find offense anywhere, and inoffensive today is not guarantee against being a retroactive crime against society tomorrow.
As an example, consider whether the outrage against 'NIPS' constitutes a racist slur on the Native Images Print Studio, and the art of the North American Aboriginal Peoples, or the people of Pakistan, or Nepal, or an insult to the Northern Indian Public Service... or professional secretaries, which would be sexist in another way.
NIPS as an acronym:
Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems
NASA Interactive Planning System
National Immunisation Program Schedule
National Immunization Provider Record Check Study
National Implementation Plans
National Indicative Programmes
National Information Points
National Information Processing System
National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development
National Institute for Physiological Sciences
National Institute for Policy Studies
National Institute of Pakistan Studies
National Institute of Physical Sciences
National Institute of Physiological Science
National Institute of Policy Studies
National Institute of Population Studies
National Institute of Professional Secretaries
National Institutetute for Physiological Sciences
National Institutions for Persons Requiring Care and Control
National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center
National Intelligence Priorities
National Intelligence Processing System
National Internet-Based Partner Services
National Internet-Based Partner Services (support group)
Native Images Print Studio
Naval Intelligence Processing Center Upgrade Program
Naval Intelligence Processing Systems
Naval Intelligence Production System
Navy Information Policy Summary
Nelson Investment Planning Services
Neonatal Index of Parent Satisfaction
Neonatal Infant Pain Scale
Nepal Institute for Policy Studies
Nestin-Positive Islet-Derived Progenitor Cells
Net Income per Share
Net Internet Press Services
Network Based Intrusion Prevention System
Network I/Os Per Second
Network Information Processing Systems
Network Intrusion Prevention System
Network Intrusion Protection System
Neural Info Processing Systems
Neural Information Processing Systems
News in Physiological Sciences
Nigeria International Poultry Summit
NMCS Information Processing System
Nocturnal Investigation of Paranormal Situations
Non Impact Printers
Non Imprinted Polymers
NON Institutional Provider Services
Non Invasive Prenatal Screening
Non Invasive Programmed Stimulation
Non-Secure Internet Protocol Router Network (US DoD)
Non-solvent Induced Phase Separation
Northern Illinois Parrot Society
Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State
Northern Indiana Public Service
Northern Indiana Public Service Company
Northern Insulation and Pipeline Stockists
Northern Ireland Paranormal Research Association (UK)
Northern Ireland Paranormal Society
Northern Ireland Pike Society
NTCS-A Information Processing Services
Numerically Integrated Profiling System
Nutrition In Patient care Survey
Tuesday 30th October 2018 08:41 GMT Anonymous Coward
Tuesday 30th October 2018 08:47 GMT bobajob12
I support a name change. Frankly the only people who would find "NIPS" amusing are those with the minds of 12-year-olds, but --breaking news, not!-- there are a remarkably high number of such folks in attendance at conferences. Including this one. So why give the puerile crowd anything extra to exercise their little minds over?
There's nothing inherently wrong with a name like NIPS. But the record of this and other similar conferences makes it susceptible to a rule I may as well call This Is Why You Can't Have Nice Things.
Tuesday 30th October 2018 09:29 GMT Neoc
<sigh> So instead of quietly getting the organisers to squash the improper usage of the name (which, based on this report, is done by a minority) those who find it offensive point out the connection between the name and buddles (local term).
The more you raise the fact that something is "racist" or "sexist", the more it gets re-inforced into the public psyche. I can only dream of being able to stop anyone pointing out the negative connotation of certain words ("gay", anyone?) for - say - a generation, and hopefully the next generation will never understand why this was ever a problem.
Awaiting downvotes in 3... 2... 1...
Tuesday 30th October 2018 09:32 GMT Anonymous Coward
these events often have a hugely skewed ratio of men vs women - representative of the industry. I know my female colleagues feel uncomfortable when they attend because they feel men are ogling them (they are, i've seen numerous times). and when the drinks are served up, well you can imagine what happens next.
i think the more we can do to make these events welcoming and accepting of everyone the better. changing a name seems like an easy win, i'm not sure why anyone would be against it.
Tuesday 30th October 2018 11:40 GMT Mycho
Wednesday 31st October 2018 09:48 GMT Anonymous Coward
No, some men with nothing better to do and insufficient balls to actually treat conference attendees with universal respect will be sniggering and drooling about breasts. FTFY.
Someone once told me that the most vicious battles are not on the battlefield but in academia. I think this qualifies. Pick a name, move on, and leave the pre-pubescent boys behind.
Wednesday 31st October 2018 13:46 GMT Mycho
Nice straw man you're building there.
This topic will be discussed everywhere at this year's conference and it will make everybody nervous because it's about breasts. If they change the name then the reason will be discussed widely for years and will make everybody nervous for the same reason.
If the campaigners were as interested in trolling as you clearly are then I call this a win for them.