Research on human communication has mostly focused on text and speech. In face-to-face communication, however, gestures, facial expressions, eye gaze, and body postures also play an essential role. This is especially true in sign languages, which are entirely non-vocal in nature. But in spoken languages, too, gestures and facial expressions play an important role.
Investigating such visual aspects of linguistic interactions is essential, not only to gain a more comprehensive understanding of human communication, but also to enable realistic virtual simulations of human conversational behaviour, which is needed for improved human-computer interaction (e.g., virtual assistants) as well as interactions between people in virtual environments (e.g., the Metaverse).
The Institute for Logic, Language and Computation at the University of Amsterdam is looking for an Assistant Professor to perform research on Virtual Simulation of Human Conversational Behavior,
and to contribute to our educational programmes in AI, computer science, and linguistics. Your research will be part of the research programme Language Sciences for Social Good
). In particular, you will work closely with researchers in the SignLab (https://www.signlab-amsterdam.nl/
) and the Visualisation Lab (http://visualisationlab.science.uva.nl/
) who are interested in developing virtual humans capable of communicating in sign language, as well as researchers in the Dialogue Modelling Group (https://dmg-illc.github.io/dmg/
) who are interested in visually grounded language. Other relevant labs include the Computer Vision Lab (https://ivi.fnwi.uva.nl/cv/
) and the Digital Interactions Lab (https://ivi.uva.nl/research/digital-interactions-lab.html?cb
).What are you going to do?
You are expected to design, develop, and apply new methods to measure hand and body movements, as well as facial expressions and eye gaze of people when they use sign language or co-speech gestures, to analyse such data using state-of-the-art machine learning techniques, and to use the data to drive realistic virtual simulations of human conversational behaviour.Tasks and responsibilities:
- actively contributing to the research programme Language Sciences for Social Good;
- conducting cutting-edge research, resulting in academic publications in selective peer-reviewed international journals, conference proceedings and/or books;
- actively pursuing external funding for research, notably from the Dutch and European research councils;
- actively contributing to and developing national and international research networks including both academic and non-academic partners;
- developing and teaching courses at Bachelor and Master level;
- (co-)supervising PhD projects, as well as Bachelor and Master thesis projects;
- actively contributing to the development and improvement of the teaching programmes that the institute is involved in;
- taking part in committees and working groups and carrying out departmental administrative tasks.