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Project Background: Utrecht/Eindhoven Alliance on Human-AI
In recent years, AI has been making strides and is becoming embedded in our daily life, empowering humans and enhancing their autonomy and quality of life. By the same token, AI can potentially reduce human autonomy when it acts autonomously, when it monitors and interprets human actions and emotions, and by its sheer complexity which makes it hard for users to understand and anticipate its operation.
This tension between human and machine autonomy poses major scientific, technological and ethical challenges to the design of AI systems, and failing to consider this tension challenges social stability and democratic constitutions. It is thus vital to develop models and methods that can predict and evaluate how people respond to changing interactions with such a social and technological environment and that can guide the design of AI to be transparent and intelligible, and safeguarding people’s autonomy. This challenge is particularly acute for artificial autonomous systems that understand, predict, and respond to our internal states (thoughts, feelings, and goals) to recommend and/or take action within the emerging technological landscape of the Internet of things (IoT).
The Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), Utrecht University (UU) and the University Medical Centre Utrecht (UMC Utrecht) are developing an alliance program on Human-centred Artificial intelligence (HAI) with the aim to harness technological advances to enhance rather than threaten human autonomy, while enabling human performance. The program proposes an innovative and integrated approach that brings together researchers from the TU/e, UU & UMC combining specialized expertise in engineering and design in technology with high-class expertise in social, behavioral, cognitive, information and computing sciences, ethics, healthcare and public health.
As part of this programme, two Postdoctoral Researchers will be hired for a period of 3 years. The two will work in tandem with their focus will be respectively upon:
Both Postdocs will spend 80% of their time on research and 20% of their time in related educational activities.Their activities will include:
Profile 1 (TU/e, Faculty of Industrial design) Design and engineering of HAI
The candidate should hold a PhD in AI related field with a design and engineering background in, e.g., explainable AI, affective computing, persuasive technology, recommender systems, and intelligent user interfaces.
Profile 2 (UU, Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences) Modeling and experimentation of HAI
The candidate should hold a PhD in AI related field with a background in behavioural or cognitive science, and with an expertise in computational modelling and empirical research with humans on a relevant topic such as intelligent autonomous systems, knowledge representation and reasoning, intelligent cognitive assistants, and machine learning.
Furthermore, both candidates (1) should demonstrate a clear affinity for working and designing with people, aspiring to combine an innovative hands-on approach with a scientific grounding and insight in cognitive and social aspects of AI; (2) should have strong professional and communication skills in order to work together with remote partners in a multi-national and multi-disciplinary research team; and (3) should be fluent in spoken and written English; fluency in Dutch will weigh positively to facilitate field-work and collaboration with domain experts in healthcare and education.
A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.
The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences is one of the leading Faculties in Europe providing research and academic teaching in Interdisciplinary Social Science, Cultural Anthropology, Educational Sciences, Pedagogical Sciences, Psychology, and Sociology. More than 5,600 students are enrolled in a broad range of undergraduate and graduate programmes. The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences has some 850 faculty and staff members, all providing their individual contribution to the training and education of young talent and to the research into and finding solutions for scientific and societal issues.
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