Press release

Cologne/London (GESIS/BCS). On April 14th to April 18, the 41st European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR) will commence in Cologne, Germany, which has been organised by GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, a Cologne-based social sciences research organisation in cooperation with the University of Duisburg-Essen, under the auspices of BCS, the United Kingdom's Chartered Institute for IT based in London and Swindon.

ECIR is Europe's leading scientific conference in information retrieval, another name for the area generally known as search engine technology, and related fields like applied machine learning and natural language processing. In this year of "digitisation", the 2019 editions of ECIR and SIGIR, its international peer event are both happening on the European continent, so the organising committees are inviting researchers, the media, and anyone interested to attend and to learn about the most recent discoveries to make the search for information more effective, efficient and accessible.

This year's ECIR is attracting more than 250 delegates from all around the world who will be visiting Cologne to enjoy the scientific programme at the main conference as well as in various workshops, tutorials, the doctoral consortium and industry day. Delegates are world-renowned scientists in the field as well as practitioners, early-stage researchers and PhD students. ECIR 2019 enables fruitful discussion and exchange of ideas among delegates to shape tomorrow's information landscape. This year, the annual Microsoft and BCS Karen Spärck Jones award lecture will be given by its most recent recipient, Professor Krisztian Balog (University of Stavanger, Norway), who is an expert in name search. Algorithms, methods and machine learning models such as the ones presented at the conference have become the hallmarks of Web search engines, and many of the papers presented are co-authored by the big Web search, e-commerce and information companies (e.g., Google, Bing, Yandex). The field of search, like other sub-areas of computer science, has increasingly been influenced by advances in artificial intelligence research such as 'deep' neural network, as pioneered by researchers including last month's ACM Turing Award winners Yoshua Bengio, Geoffrey E. Hinton and Yann LeCun.

This year, a public discussion panel will be held on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 16:00 at Maternushaus entitled "Societal Challenges for Search: Privacy, Bias, Accountability, Transparency and some other scary things" in cooperation with the Cologne Science Forum ("Kölner Wissenschaftsrunde", KWR) to connect with the general public in an area that increasingly impacts society at large.