PhD position for constructing shared memories from observations and conversations for Hybrid Intelligence

PhD position for constructing shared memories from observations and conversations for Hybrid Intelligence

Published Deadline Location
25 Apr 30 Jun Amsterdam

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Now that responsive AI systems such as ChatGPT are becoming the norm, the next challenge is to create conversational AI systems that maintain long-term shared memories with people and that can leverage these in collaborative tasks. If you are intereste...

Job description

Human memories do not just capture a stream of data but heavily conceptualise experiences. What is important to memorise is partially determined by personal interest and by common cultural-cognitive perceptions. Our memories are efficient but also have limitations and can fail. Machines on the other hand can memorise every detail almost without limitation but lack the human capacity to focus on relevance. To collaborate, humans and machines need to align their different memories in a Theory of Mind (ToM) model, to find out what is shared and what is different. Successful alignment of memories should lead to better collaboration of humans and robots in shared tasks.

We are seeking a highly motivated and talented PhD researcher to work on an exciting project focused on hybrid memory modelling based on both visual observations by the robot and conversations between robots and people. In this project, you build a conversational robot that aligns their memories through natural language conversation to 1) detect conflicts, gaps, perspectives and uncertainties and 2) repair these. The successful candidate will be part of the Hybrid Intelligence Center and the Computational Linguistics and Text Mining Lab. You also work in close collaboration with researchers at the University of Delft.

Your duties
The ideal candidate will have a background in natural language processing and artificial intelligence with a strong interest in human-computer interaction. Experience in deep learning, knowledge graphs and natural language processing are a plus.


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)


  • A Master's degree in Computational Linguistics or Artificial Intelligence with Natural Language Processing experience
  • Experience of natural language processing and deep learning
  • Good programming skills in Python
  • Experience with human-computer interaction and knowledge graphs are a plus
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English

Conditions of employment

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts €2,402 (PhD) per month during the first year and increases to €2,889 (PhD) per month during the fourth year, based on a full-time employment. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE. The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a duration of 4 years (or 5 years in case of a 0.8 fte contract). Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package
  • a wide range of sports facilities which staff may use at a modest charge

Your application should contain at least a CV and a motivation letter describing why you apply to the PhD position.


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 30,000 students. We employ over 5,500 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

Faculty of Humanities
The Faculty of Humanities links a number of fields of study: Language, Literature and Communication, Art & Culture, History, Antiquities and Philosophy. Our teaching and research focus on current societal and scientific themes: from artificial intelligence to visual culture, from urbanization to the history of slavery, from ‘fake news’ in journalism to communication in organizations. We strive to ensure small group sizes. Innovative education and interdisciplinary research are our hallmarks.

Working at the Faculty of Humanities means making a real contribution to the quality of leading education and research in an inspiring and personal work and study climate. We employ more than 350 staff members, and we are home to around 2,000 students.
The Hybrid Intelligence Centre

The Hybrid Intelligence Centre is a large 10 year nationwide research programme funded by the Dutch Government. Hybrid Intelligence (HI) is the combination of human and machine intelligence, expanding human intellect instead of replacing it. Our goal is to design Hybrid Intelligent systems, an approach to Artificial Intelligence that puts humans at the centre, changing the course of the ongoing AI revolution. You will be part of the Hybrid Intelligence Centre that offers training and opportunities for joint research and technical support. More information about our research programme can be found at http://www.hybrid-

The Computational Linguistics and Text Mining Lab

The Computational Linguistics and Text Mining Lab (CLTL) at the Faculty of Humanities of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is one of the leading groups in the area of multilingual language understanding, language modelling and resources and human-robot communication. About 15 PhDs are doing research on various topics related to Natural Language Processing and several projects related to our robot platform Leolani: and

Also check out our website at: for more details about our research and teaching.


  • PhD
  • 30.4—38 hours per week
  • €2402—€2889 per month
  • University graduate
  • 15318


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

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De Boelelaan 1105, 1081HV, Amsterdam

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