[robotics-worldwide] PhD Position: The influence of robots on the development of language

Christoph Bartneck hitlabnznews at gmail.com
Tue Oct 23 21:22:13 PDT 2012

 Project description

The ‘Wordovators’ project is a three-year project funded by the John
Templeton Foundation. The project will conduct large-scale experiments in
the form of computerized word games.These games will be designed to probe
the factors underpinning word creation and creativity, and how these
develop through the life-span. One strand of the project will probe
particular issues surrounding interactions between people and humanoid
Robots. How are new words created and adopted in contexts involving such
interactions? This PhD position is for a highly motivated student to join
the project team, and conduct work that explores the ways that robots might
shape human languages. These studies will analyze the factors and processes
that might contribute to the influence of robots on the vocabularies of
English and of artificial languages in imaginary worlds.

This project is a collaboration between University of Canterbury, New
Zealand and Northwestern University, USA.  The PhD candidate will enroll
for a PhD degree in the HIT Lab NZ at University of Canterbury, and will be
primarily supervised by Dr Christoph Bartneck. (the HIT Lab NZ).  Other
associated faculty are  Professor Jen Hay (NZILBB), Janet Pierrehumbert
(Northwestern University / Adjunct Professor NZILBB), and Professor
Stephanie Stokes (NZILBB).   The PhD student will be encouraged to
regularly visit Northwestern University.
Your skills

You should have an interest in human language and have a strong background
in robotics or computer science.
The HIT Lab NZ

The Human Interface Technology Laboratory New Zealand (HIT Lab NZ) is world
leading research institutions developing and commercializing technology
that improves human computer interaction. The HIT Lab NZ has over 50 staff
and students and has extensive experience in Human Computer Interaction and
Science & Technology Studies. The HIT Lab NZ is located at the University
of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. The University of Canterbury
has the top Engineering School in New Zealand, including a highly ranked
Department of Computer Science. For more information about the HIT Lab NZ
see http://www.hitlabnz.org/.

The HIT Lab NZ at the University of Canterbury is affiliated with the New
Zealand Institute of Language, Brain and Behaviour (NZILBB).  NZILBB is a
multi-disciplinary centre dedicated to the study of human language. The
researchers come from a wide range of disciplines, forging connections
across linguistics, speech production and perception, language acquisition,
language disorders, social cognition, memory, brain imaging, cognitive
science, bilingual education, and interface technologies. More information
is available at: http://www.nzilbb.canterbury.ac.nz/.

* *


Christchurch is the second largest city in New Zealand and offers an
exciting and easy lifestyle for students. It is the most affordable major
city to live in. It is easy to get around whether you are biking, walking,
driving or using the excellent public transport system. Christchurch also
offers outstanding opportunities for outdoor activities, and is close to
both surf beaches and ski-fields.
Appointment and Scholarship Support

The PhD scholarship is full time for a duration of *three years* with
an *annual
scholarship* of $25,000 NZD. The scholarship will also cover the tuition
fees.The research in this project must be concluded with writing a PhD
thesis within the Human Interface Technology PhD program of the HIT Lab NZ.
For more information about the PhD program in Human Interface Technology,
please see http://www.hitlabnz.org/index.php/education/phd-program.
Further Information and Application

Further information can be obtained by contacting Christoph Bartneck (
christoph.bartneck at canterbury.ac.nz). Information about the HIT Lab NZ is
available at: http://www.hitlabnz.org. Please upload your application as
one PDF file at http://www.hitlabnz.org/index.php/jobs/job/37/ Your
application *must include* a letter explaining your specific interest in
the project, an extensive curriculum vitae, your academic records, and a
list of two references. Applications will be accepted until *November 15th,
2012* or until position is filled.
Further Information and Application

International applicants will be required to arrange for their NZ student
visa after an offer of a place. Please check
http://www.immigration.govt.nzfor information about what type of visa
might be most suitable and the
process of acquiring it. The university has various types of accommodation
available on campus. Please check http://www.canterbury.ac.nz/accom/ for
information about the options and prices. International students should
also consult the International Student website at
http://www.canterbury.ac.nz/international/ to learn about the cost of
living, fees, and insurances.

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