WASP HS Program PhD Student Position
Research topic: AI implications for democracy and self-determination
Umeå University, the Department of Computing Science, is seeking outstanding candidates for a Wallenberg Autonomous Systems Program (WASP) PhD student position in Computer Science with focus on socially intelligent systems for human-agent collaboration. Deadline for application is September 8, 2019.
The Department of Computing Science is a dynamic environment with more than100 employees representing more than 20 countries worldwide. We conduct education and research on a broad range of topics in Computing Science. The department’s work on Artificial Intelligence has a strong international position, in particular on the topics of collaborative and responsible AI. In these areas, the focus is on human-AI interaction and on the ethical and societal impact of AI. Researchers collaborate with several national and international research groups, and have active links with industry and policy organisations. Visit https://www.umu.se/en/research/groups/interactive-and-intelligent-systems/ and https://www.umu.se/en/research/groups/responsible-artificial-intelligence/ for more information.
The project is part of the Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program – Humanities and Society (WASP-HS). The program is initiated and generously funded by the Wallenberg Foundations. The vision of WASP-HS is to realise excellent research and build competence on the ethical, economic, labor market, social and legal aspects of Artificial Intelligence. For more information about the research and other activities conducted within WASP-HS please visit http://wasp-hs.org/.
The successful candidate is expected to participate in the national graduate school provided by WASP-HS, in addition to the local doctoral education requirements at Umeå University.
In this project, we will investigate to what extent and how AI can be designed and used to behave in line with ethical and social values. In particular, we aim to investigate the impact of AI systems on self-determination and on democratic processes and values. We approach this challenge by first analysing the expectations of people about the ethical and societal impact of AI, on how AI will lead to novel models of democracy, and on the capability of people to exert their right to self-determination. We will then develop computational theories and methods to design and evaluate AI applications such that they meet societal and ethical needs and expectations. We will evaluate these systems in a simulation environment that enables us to create synthetic communities of artificial agents and test the resulting social behaviour as these agents interact with each other and with AI systems. We compare these results to those empirically obtained in three case studies: about pluralism in political debate, about critical scrutiny in public decision-making, and about self-determination in the interaction with virtual coaches for improving health.
About the position
The successful applicant will be employed by Umeå University and receive a competitive salary for a period of four years of full time PhD studies, provided that the studies are progressing reasonably well. PhD students are typically offered the opportunity to gain teaching experience on suitable undergraduate courses. If so, the employment period is extended to cover the time spent on teaching (at most 20 %). Expected starting date is 1st of January 2020 or as otherwise agreed.
The applicant is required to have completed a second- cycle level degree, or completed course requirements of at least 240 ECTS credits, of which at least 60 ECTS credits are at second-cycle level, or have an equivalent education from overseas, or equivalent qualifications. To fulfil the specific entry requirements for doctoral studies in computing science, the applicant is required to have completed courses at second-cycle level degree equivalent to 60 ECTS credits in computing science, or in a subject considered to be directly relevant for the specialisation in question.
Candidates are expected to have very good knowledge in Artificial Intelligence and on the interaction between people and intelligent systems, in particular in the health domain. Demonstrable knowledge of systems design and modelling, multi-agent systems, or agent-based simulation is an advantage.
Since research is conducted in an international research environment, the ability to collaborate and contribute to teamwork, documented experience from multidisciplinary collaboration, and a very good command of the English language, both written and spoken, are key requirements.
A complete application should contain the following documents:
• A cover letter including a description of your research interests, your reasons to apply for the position, and your contact information
• A curriculum vitae
• If applicable, copy of completed BSc and/or MSc thesis and other original research publications
• Copies of degree certificates, including documentation of completed academic courses and obtained grades
• Contact information for two persons willing to act as references
The application must be written in English or Swedish, and attached documents must be written in or translated to English or Swedish. Documents must be in Word or pdf format. Applications must be submitted electronically using the e-recruitment system of Umeå University, and be received no later than September 8, 2019. Log on to the system and apply via the button at the bottom of the web page.
The procedure for recruitment for the position is in accordance with the Higher Education Ordinance (chapter 12, 2§) and the decision regarding the position cannot be appealed. The recruitment aims at a balanced gender distribution, and in particular women are encouraged to apply.
For additional information, please contact Prof. Virginia Dignum firstname.lastname@example.org or Prof. Helena Lindgren email@example.com.
We look forward to receiving your application!
2020-01-01 or otherwise agreed
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