PhD candidate for the project "Artificial Intelligence in the Criminal Justice System"

PhD candidate for the project "Artificial Intelligence in the Criminal Justice System"

Published Deadline Location
1 Feb 31 Mar Tilburg
Tilburg University | Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences is looking for a PhD candidate for the project “Artificial Intelligence in the Criminal Justice System” (0.8 - 1.0 FTE), for the Department of Communication and Cognition, location Tilburg. Duration of employment contract is 4 years (fulltime).

Job description

The Department of Communication and Cognition at Tilburg University is looking for an enthusiastic new colleague. This PhD researcher will work within the project “Artificial Intelligence in the Criminal Justice System: What perspectives for the application of AI from information collection to sentencing and recidivism?” funded by a Starter Grant awarded by the Dutch Government.

This fully funded, 4-year project aims to investigate the extent to which AI-systems are, will, and might be used in the future within the criminal justice system. This project will be revolving around two phases. The first one focuses on the measure of attitudes of all actors of the criminal justice process. In the second phase, we will come back to the importance of attitudes towards the use of AI in the general population, with a specific emphasis on investigating experimentally the effect of the function of AI and the perceived humanness (human vs. AI) on the attitudes towards the use of AI.

In the first phase of the PhD, the candidate will interview various stakeholders in the criminal justice process, including victims, eyewitnesses, law enforcement, lawyers, judges, and wardens. This aims to gather insights on AI's necessity, usage, and ethical considerations in the criminal justice system. The candidate will also analyze personality and demographic factors that influence trust or skepticism toward AI in this context. Additionally, the candidate will translate and validate existing scales measuring attitudes toward AI and AI ethics.

In the second phase of the PhD, the PhD candidate will conduct an experimental study to investigate how different functions of AI (recognition, prediction, recommendation, and decision-making) influence public attitudes toward AI in the criminal justice system. The candidate will also explore attribution biases, perceived discrimination, and conduct an experiment comparing human-based and AI-based processing in the judicial system. The goal is to replicate findings on trust and efficiency while examining moderating factors.

Ultimately, the project will culminate in a thesis offering practical recommendations for integrating AI into the criminal justice system, addressing the balance between efficiency and humaneness, and ethical concerns.

Background of the project
Artificial intelligence is increasingly being utilized within the criminal justice system, including applications like predictive policing and collecting testimonies in the Netherlands. However, there is limited data on how the general public and stakeholders perceive this AI usage. Considering the Theory of Planned Behavior, attitudes toward AI can shape people's intention to use AI systems in the justice process. While some studies reveal general excitement, perceived usefulness, concerns, and future prospects regarding AI, attitudes likely differ between the general population versus actors within the judicial system.

This project aims to explore these attitudes through four key steps: (1) validating scales on AI attitudes, (2) quantitatively and qualitatively assessing the perceptions of all justice system actors, (3) evaluating how AI's intended purpose affects attitudes toward its use, and (4) examining how an AI system's perceived humanness influences trust and case filing perceptions. Understanding perspectives across groups could provide valuable insights into integrating AI into the criminal justice system.

Specifications

Tilburg University

Requirements

Your Profile
Candidates for this position should have a (research) master’s degree in communication science, social or cognitive psychology, computational linguistics, sociology, or comparable. In addition, you:

  • have experience with interviews, surveys and experimental designs;
  • have good statistical analysis skills and have experience using statistical software (R, jamovi, Python); 
  • have excellent English written and oral communication skills;
  • are collaborative and like to work in a team;  
  • have a proactive and goal-directed attitude, good organizational skills, and the ability to get things done;
  • speaking Dutch fluently is highly preferred given the nature of the project.
  • show that your interests align with the project "Artificial Intelligence in the Criminal Justice System" and particularly with themes such as legal psychology, artificial intelligence, and ethics.

Conditions of employment

This is a position for 0,8 – 1,0 fte (32 - 40 hours per week) of full working hours. Working hours can be flexible for caring responsibilities. The selected candidate will start with a contract at Tilburg University at the Department of Communication and Cognition for one year, concluded by an evaluation. Upon a positive outcome of the first-year evaluation, the candidate will be offered an employment contract for an additional 3 years.
 
Tilburg University offers excellent employment conditions with attention to flexibility and (personal) development and attractive fringe benefits. The salary amounts to € 2.770 gross per month for full-time employment, increasing up to € 3.539 in the fourth year. Tilburg University uses a neutral remuneration system for salary scaling that is based on work experience.  
 
You are entitled to a vacation allowance of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% of your gross annual income. If you work 40 hours per week, you will receive 41 paid days of leave per year.  
Researchers from outside the Netherlands may qualify for a tax-free allowance of 30% of their taxable salary if they meet the relevant conditions. The university applies for this allowance on their behalf. The University will provide assistance in finding suitable accommodation (for foreign employees). All employees of the university are covered by the so-called General Pension Fund for Public Employers (Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP).   
 
We make clear agreements about career paths and offer all kinds of facilities and arrangement to maintain an optimal balance between work and private life. You can also follow numerous training courses, for example, in the areas of leadership skills, personal effectiveness, and career development.  
 
Tilburg University values an open and inclusive culture. We embrace diversity and encourage the mutual integration of groups of employees and students. We focus on creating equal opportunities for all our employees and students so that everyone feels at home in our university community.  
 
Tilburg University has a lively campus in beautiful green surroundings that is easily accessible by public transport. We are committed to a sustainable society and challenge you to make an active contribution. 
 
Please visit working at Tilburg University for more information on our terms of employment.  

Employer

Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences

Research and education at the Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences (TSHD) has a unique focus on humans in the context of the globalizing digital society, on the development of artificial intelligence and interactive technologies, on their impact on communication, culture and society, and on moral and existential challenges that arise. The School of Humanities and Digital Sciences consists of four departments: Communication and Cognition, Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence, Culture Studies and Philosophy; several research institutes and a faculty office. Also the University College Tilburg is part of the School. Each year around 275 students commence a Bachelor or (Pre) Master Program. The School has approximately 2000 students and 250 employees.

Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences

Department

Department of Communication and Cognition

The Department of Communication and Cognition (DCC) is responsible for the Tilburg center for Cognition and Communication (TiCC), where research is conducted into cognitive and social aspects of human communication through a multidisciplinary approach combining careful experimentation with survey methods, corpus analyses and computational modeling. The research group consists of about 80 researchers covering a broad range of topics relevant for cognition and communication, and this includes approximately 25 PhD students. Core research domains include communication and technology, cross-cultural communication, computational linguistics, information visualization, marketing and business communication, language production, and non-verbal communication, with a strong emphasis on digital methods.

Additional information

For more information on this position, please contact dr. Frédéric Tomas (F.J.Y.Tomas@tilburguniversity.edu).

Specifications

  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society; Language and culture
  • 32—40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 22103

Employer

Location

Warandelaan 2, 5037 AB, Tilburg

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Application procedure

  • To apply for this position please submit a motivation letter, CV, grade list and names of two references.
  • The only way to apply is online via the Tilburg University website.
  • Deadline for applications: March 31, 2024.
  • Interviews are expected to take place in April.

Application procedure

Application procedure

  • To apply for this position please submit a motivation letter, CV, grade list and names of two references.
  • The only way to apply is online via the Tilburg University website.
  • Deadline for applications: March 31, 2024.
  • Interviews are expected to take place in April.

Make sure to apply no later than 31 Mar 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).