Computational and Biological Learning Society

CBLS is a non-profit organization whose main activity since 2013 has been to sponsor the International Conference on Learning Representations

Prior to 2013, CBLS was the sponsoring organization of the Learning Workshop at Snowbird.

The International Conference on Learning Representations (ICLR)

Since 2013, CLBS has sponsored the International Conference on Learning Representations.

The Learning Workshop at Snowbird (1986-2012)

The Learning Workshop was an invitation-only workshop that ran from 1986 to 2012 under different names. It was initially named “Neural Networks for Computing”, then renamed “Machines that Learn”, and finally “The Learning Workshop”.

It was founded by a group of scientists from Bell Labs and Caltech, and initially chaired by Larry Jackel from AT&T Bell Labs. Yann LeCun from AT&T Labs became the chair in 1997, and was later joined by Yoshua Bengio as co-chair.

The Snowbird Workshop, brought together researchers in machine learning, statistics, pattern recognition, vision, graphical models, neural nets, neuroscience, adaptive control, and speech recognition, who were interested in understanding natural and synthetic learning. Attendance was by invitation through recommendations from the committee.

The Workshop has had a huge influence on the field of machine learning, as well as on statistics, bio-informatics, computer vision, computational neuroscience, and a host of other areas that have a connection with machine learning.

Snowbird was the place statisticians and neural net people first met, where UAI and machine learning people first met, where computer vision and machine learning people first met, where the use of machine learning for biological sequence analysis was conceived.

Snowbird is the reason NIPS was created: after only 3 years, the field of neural computation had become to big for an invitation-only workshop with a mere 100 participants. A full-fledged conference with open submissions had to be created.

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