Postdoc position on interaction patterns for polyvocal knowledge acquisition

Postdoc position on interaction patterns for polyvocal knowledge acquisition

Published Deadline Location
1 Sep 15 Oct Amsterdam

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A postdoc position is available at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam on methods of interaction towards polyvocal knowledge graphs for culturally aware AI-based user services in the context of the Hybrid Intelligence project.

Job description

For Hybrid Intelligence systems to have effective and appropriate interactions with various users, these systems will need to be sensitive to and aware of the diversity of the users and the perspectives they might have. Knowledge Graphs provide representation formats and mechanisms to represent multiple perspectives yet questions remain how multi-perspective or polyvocal information can be elicited in Hybrid Intelligence scenarios through interaction with various end users.

This research project within the larger Hybrid Intelligence programme is a collaboration between VU and UTwente. The project will be situated in a number of ongoing digital cultural heritage and digital humanities collaborations such as Pressing Matter, InTaVia and Clariah. The PD will be able to collaborate with heritage partners through ongoing collaborations that are maintained in the context of the ICAI Cultural AI lab and similar collaborations spearheaded by UTwente.

Within the project, we will focus on the domain of cultural heritage where several existing Knowledge Graphs describing tangible and intangible heritage data are available. Your research will investigate the effectiveness of various interaction design patterns to elicit polyvocal annotations of existing objects and enrichments of existing Knowledge Graphs in that domain. Here, the variety and the perspective of the users (cultural, geographical, gender etc) is to be taken into account. The research question on how to elicit such information in an ethical and responsible manner is a crucial part of this research.

If you are passionate about user interaction design patterns, cultural heritage information, and Hybrid Intelligence and curious to join us in this exciting research, then we are looking for you!

Your duties
In the project, you will investigate a generic method for eliciting polyvocal Knowledge Graphs enrichments in Hybrid Intelligence scenarios through interaction designs. To this end, graph pattern extraction methods will be employed on existing KGs and -where possible- combined with natural language processing on text to extract some polyvocal knowledge automatically. During the interactions with different groups of users, a system can prompt/suggest enrichments that might be consistent or inconsistent with users' view. This way, we can connect different views to different groups of users. To determine where enrichments or annotations are useful, interaction patterns for user dialogs will need to be established to elicit this information. The research questions therefore are threefold:
  • How can graph pattern mining and user context be combined to identify graph enrichment tasks?
  • What are effective and ethical interaction patterns to elicit user context and perspective?
  • What are effective and ethical interaction patterns to elicit graph enrichments, while retaining context and perspective?

The method will be generic, but should be implemented in a variety of modalities: in a web application, an interactive VR application or an interactive voice response system (IVR). The research will result in the generic patterns, supporting tooling to implement this in the various modalities and evaluations of these two.

Your day-to-day duties will be to:
  • write scientific publications and attend international conferences and workshops to present your work
  • collaborate with colleagues in and outside the department on shared research challenges
  • provide limited supporting educational activities within the computer science department


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)


  • You hold or will soon hold a PhD degree in Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Information Sciences or similar field.
  • You have proven experience in human-computer interaction, intelligent user interfaces, hybrid human-AI intelligence or similar topics relevant to the position
  • Interest in knowledge graphs, digital humanities are a plus.
  • You have good proficiency in English in speaking and writing.
  • You have good communication skills, take initiative, and have a strong interest in working in a multidisciplinary team.

Starting date of the position: 15 November 2023

Conditions of employment

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €3,226 (scale 10) and a maximum €5,090 (scale 10), depending on your education and experience. The job profile is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE.

The initial employment contract will affect a period of 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for another two years.
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment,
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus,
  • solid pension scheme (ABP),
  • child daycare facilities available on campus,
  • contribution to commuting expenses


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 31,000 students. We employ over 5,000 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.

The Faculty of Science
Working at the Faculty of Science means working together with students, PhD candidates and scientists who are focused on their discipline, yet also have a broad view of the world. We are proud of the collegial working environment within the faculty, which is characterised by an ambitious and pragmatic attitude with commitment to the bigger picture. At the Faculty of Science, scientists and students work on fundamental and complex social issues for a sustainable and healthy future. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to malnutrition, from genetics to pharmaceuticals and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research cover the full breadth of the natural sciences. Scientific teaching and research is highly experimental, technical, computational and interdisciplinary in nature. This is why we collaborate extensively with leading research institutes and industry. The faculty has over 11,000 students studying across 40 educational programmes and employs over 1,600 staff spread over 10 scientific departments, making us the largest science faculty in the Netherlands.


  • Postdoc
  • 30.4—38 hours per week
  • €3226—€5090 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 16077


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

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De Boelelaan 1105, 1081HV, Amsterdam

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