There is a Neural Information Processing system conference related to Artificial Intelligence held in Vancouver where researchers from all over the world were supposed to attend this conference.
These people were to participate in this research and get their views on this technology. However, Canada again refuses visas to a lot of attendees, and most of them are Africans. The conference which is to be held next month is essential for those researches who were looking forward to getting more knowledge about Artificial Intelligence.
Canada has repeated this act as there were more than 100 attendees who did not get visas last year for the same conference. This time also there are a lot of researchers who would not get permits to participate in this event.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has also justified this act by saying that Canada is world-class in the way it approves visas and also encourages people from all over the world to participate in the events held in Canada. He has also assured that someone will surely look into this matter.
Reasons Behind the Denial of Visas
The representative of the ministry of immigration told the reporters that they were working for a long time to ensure that there are no problems with the visas and wanted to keep the process as simple as they could.
They said that they could not comment on individual’s visa denial reason but all the people that did not get visa could not meet the requirements for temporary residence in Canada, as per the immigration and refugee protection act.
The minister said that they have considered different factors such as their no of visits and their economic situations. They also discuss the financial condition of the country they are coming from.
They want to ensure that the people who visit Canada leave it when their visa is expired. There are a lot of people who are upset with this step taken by the Canada visa embassy.
Who was Affected by this Act?
The numbers cannot be predicted, but according to NeurIPS, the visas are denied by embassies around the world, and it can affect the event. The African representative has reported that the embassy rejected more than 30 visas, and they believe that most of them are Africans.
NeurIPS said that it could take a setback for Artificial Intelligence technology if the researches do not get their visas approved. The co-chairperson has also shared his views by saying that they oppose all the steps that can fight the technical progress made by the community.
Mwiza Simbeye, who is from Zambia working as a Google researched intern, will also not attend this meeting as his visa application was denied. The embassy said that they could not give him a visa as they are not satisfied and believe that he may not leave the country after the conference.
This is meant as he has relatives in Canada and he may settle with them there. Google-funded his last trip, and they also recommended him for this conference. It has lead to a lot of controversies over the internet.
How Are People Responding?
A lot of researchers are writing about it on the internet, and they said that last year’s denial was a big disappointment and this year it happened too. It is a setback to artificial intelligence technology as these events are significant for everyone to attend.
They believe that this move has taken a chance from the new researches and they may struggle if they will be unable to participate in this conference.
A lot of researchers show their outrage for this decision by saying that we should not be limited to paper and pen and should be allowed to take part in these kinds of conferences.
One of Google’s vice managers has also tweeted about it saying that denying visas to attend scientific conferences may limit the free flow ideas that are important for scientific progress.
It is yet to be decided what will happen next. The conference is about to start, and these problems are not solved yet. There are a lot of other similar examples where researchers did not get their visas approved for the same reason.
Embassies believe that the researcher will not go back to their countries even after they accomplish their purpose of arriving there. It can be unfair for those researchers who were looking forward to attending this conference. We are yet to know what happens next.