The 28th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence 2019 (IJCAI)

Event Name: The 28th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence 2019 (IJCAI)
Event Date:   August 13-16, 2019
Venue: The Venetian Macao
Number of Delegates: 4,000
Interviewee: Prof Thomas Eiter, Conference Chair of IJCAI 2019


"Macao is an exciting location, where it is easy to organise events. Many think that it is a world of entertainment, but there are many families’ activities here, too. Plus, a lot of other cultural attractions and events."

– Professor Eiter


No wonder Macao is an ideal destination for meetings, incentives, conferences and other events – the city offers an enticing blend of both business and leisure opportunities. That’s one of the reasons Macao was chosen for the 28th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI) 2019, which brought together some of the most important figures, institutes and companies in Artificial Intelligence (AI) to share new developments. This International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) recognised event has been hosted in Sweden, New York and Melbourne. This time, Macao delivered on all fronts, providing state of the art technology, smooth operations, great facilities and plenty to do in the downtime. Professor Thomas Eiter of the Vienna University of Technology Austria tells us more.


What are the objectives of IJICA?

The field of AI is developing very fast. What we aim to achieve are broad discussions about issues that it is not possible to discuss via papers. We therefore allow hundreds of people to meet and share their opinions face-to-face.


Can you tell us about the highlights?

We had the Librados live demo. Librados is the first computer that is able to beat humans at poker during Texas hold ‘em. There were also fascinating talks, including a discussion on the use of AI for well-being and also for reasoning.


Why did you choose Macao?

We did a site visit here two years ago, checking out the facilities and the city, and found that this is a very suitable and beautiful place for a conference. Macao has excellent AI institutions located nearby in Hong Kong and Shenzhen. The conference only comes to places in which AI is well-established or where there is potential for its development.


Outside of the event, what were you most interested in seeing in Macao?

I was curious about the cultural heritage sites, such as the Portuguese-style houses, but also the new attractions, including the bridge from Hong Kong to Macao.


Have you tried the hong kong-zhuhaimacao bridge?

Last time we arrived in Macao, the bridge was not yet opened, but people told me it would connect Macao, Hong Kong and China, and that it would be finished before the conference started. I was skeptical, but am pleased to see that the bridge finished on time. It provides an excellent connection between Hong Kong and Macao.


Can you summarise what you think of macao as a meeting destination?

There is a lot going on, especially regarding conference and meetings facilities. We have great support through the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM), a government body promoting convention and destination in Macao, which provides excellent services. The conference preparation went quite smoothly and we are very satisfied with not only the hotel and venue, but also the services provided by IPIM.