The Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR) is looking for a highly motivated PhD candidate for the project: Understanding Relationship Formation with Artificial Partners: Examination of Tools, Users and Outcomes.
Due to rapid advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning, we have been witnessing remarkable developments in the field of human-machine communication. From social robots to virtual agents, AI-driven technologies are increasingly being used for human interactions. Among these, a new category of digital tools are artificial partner applications. Distinct from other AI tools that are used for assistance or as intermediaries between humans, artificial partner applications represent a novel genre of AI powered tools that function as communication partners that aim to simulate companionship and form emotional connections with users.
This project, supervised by Dr. Hande Sungur (PI), Prof. Dr. Jochen Peter, and Dr. Jeroen Lemmens, will examine relationship formation with artificial partners by: (1) developing a comprehensive typology of artificial partner applications, (2) identifying demographic, social, and technological predictors of artificial partner use, (3) examining associations between predictors and outcomes of use, and (4) examining causal underlying processes that influence relationship formation. Through these four goals, the present research aims to enhance our understanding, specifically of artificial partners, and more broadly human-machine communication, while contributing to the discourse on AI's evolving role in human society and communication. What are you going to do?
As a PhD candidate in this project, you will conduct four studies connected to the four research goals of the project. The project comprises multiple research methods, namely; a feature (content) analyses aimed at providing a typology of available partner applications, survey research aimed at understanding user types, association between use, potential predictors, and outcomes, and finally (longitudinal) experimental research for examining underlying causal processes in relationship formation with artificial partners. Together, successfully completing these projects will lead to a PhD dissertation. You will
- Review and synthesize relevant academic literature;
- Design the studies (e.g., setting up a survey or designing stimulus materials);
- Conduct the studies and collect data;
- Analyze and write up findings for publications in high-impact scientific journals and present them at (inter)national conferences;
- Contribute to teaching activities at Bachelor’s level .