10 Valuable AI/ML Conferences Happening in 2021's First Half

Tech events are still taking place but are largely remaining virtual at this point in the year. Here are 10 upcoming ones that focus on artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Terri Coles, Contributor

February 28, 2021

4 Min Read
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At about this time a year ago as the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread around the world, leading tech conferences, including those focused on artificial intelligence and machine learning, were announcing postponements, cancellations or moves to virtual programming.

It wasn’t clear then how long events and conferences would have to run online. In winter and even early spring in 2020, several events in different parts of the world were optimistically planning for in-person affairs in the fall. But we are two months into 2021 and virtual conferences remain the norm — now and for at least most of this year, as second and third waves of the pandemic slow down, the vaccine rollout continues, and travel restrictions remain in place.

However, this state of affairs has one upside: It is logistically and financially easier to attend AI/ML conferences held around the world. With that in mind, here are 10 AI/ML conferences that you should put in the calendar, even if (in most cases) you don’t have to leave the couch to take part:

  1. O'Reilly Superstream: AI/ML in Production
    March 17, virtual
    For its 2021 Superstream Series, O’Reilly is separating its Strata Data and AI conference into two parts this year, and the first of four events is AL/ML in Production on March 17.

  2. EmTech Digital
    March 23-25, virtual
    This annual event from MIT Technology Review focuses solely on AI — in particular, implementation and how businesses can make artificial intelligence work for their operations.

  3. Nvidia GTC 21
    April 12-16, virtual
    Registration for this AI/ML conference is free, which is impressive considering its lineup of speakers from both academia and the business world. In addition to AI, tech trends such as edge and autonomous machines are featured topics.

  4. MIT Sloan CIO Symposium: Building Better Jobs in an Age of Intelligent Machines
    April 13, virtual
    In 2018, MIT’s president commissioned an institution-wide task force on the future of work in the digital economy. The final report was released this past November, and two task force members will explain its findings and recommendations at this virtual symposium.

  5. MIT Sloan CIO Symposium: Will Artificial Intelligence Get Us Through Uncertain Times?
    April 14, virtual
    In a variety of ways — both effective and not so much — AI has been used to help people and businesses deal with the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. This symposium will examine the potential of those AI solutions, and their potential effects across different industries.

  6. Collision
    April 20-22, virtual
    This leading conference for emerging tech attracts industry stars — this year they include Biz Stone of Twitter and Kathy Lueders of NASA, among dozens of others. AI and ML are two topics of note at this wide-ranging event.

  7. Gartner Digital Workplace Summit
    April 26-27, virtual
    Artificial intelligence and machine learning have the potential to transform workplaces in every industry. Learn what those changes might look like, and the benefits they may have, at this conference focused on strategy and technology for digital transformation.

  8. IBM Think
    May 11, virtual
    Hybrid cloud is increasingly vital for business operations, and it and AI go hand in hand. They also naturally partner for this conference, which is embracing its virtual format by offering on-demand sessions, live discussions and collaborative opportunities.

  9. Microsoft Azure + AI Conference Orlando
    June 8-10, Orlando, Florida
    One of a few conferences taking the leap and planning to be in person in the first half of 2021, Microsoft will descend on a Walt Disney World resort for sessions with speakers from within and outside the company. In addition to the conference, workshops will be held on June 6, 7 and 11.

  10. O'Reilly Superstream: Responsible AI
    June 16, virtual
    The second of O’Reilly’s AI events for 2021, this one stays virtual and focuses on the responsible use of artificial intelligence. Learn about the ethical and security considerations of digital transformation, and prepare for the sessions on AI scaling and securing in the fall.

About the Author(s)

Terri Coles


Terri Coles is a freelance reporter based in St. John's, Newfoundland. She has worked for more than 15 years in digital media and communications, with experience in writing, editing, reporting, interviewing, content writing, copywriting, media relations, and social media. In addition to covering artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, and other topics for IT Pro Today, she writes about health, politics, policy, and trends for several different publications.

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