[robotics-worldwide] [jobs] PhD student position in Natural Language Processing for Robotics, at Umea University, Sweden
thomash at cs.umu.se
Wed Oct 26 14:55:45 PDT 2016
Research topic: Intention driven dialogue management
Umeå University is seeking outstanding candidates for a PhD student
position in Natural Language Processing for Robotics, at the Department
of Computing Science. The Department of Computing Science is a dynamic
environment with around ninety employees representing more than ten
countries worldwide. We conduct education and research on a broad range
of topics in Computing Science. The Robotics Group at the department
conducts research in both Field robotics and Cognitive robotics.
The recruitment is done as part of SOCRATES (SOcial Cognitive Robotic
Agents in The European Society), a new Marie Skłodowska-Curie European
Training Network (ETN) comprising 7 universities/research institutes:
Umeå University and Örebro University in Sweden, Universität Hamburg and
Fraunhofer IPA, Stuttgart in Germany, CSIC Barcelona in Spain,
University West of England, and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in
Israel. Additional non-academic partners are: Pal Robotics, Adele
Robots, Alfred Nobel Science Park, Urquhart-Dykes & Lord LLP, Center for
Digital Innovation, UMINOVA, Asea Brown Boveri, S.A, and Fundació ACE.
One important part of human-robot communication using natural language
is dialogue management. This functionality is responsible for deciding
on the next appropriate robot step based on factors such as dialogue
history, user intention, and context. For this particular position, the
research goal is to develop methods that deal with phenomena such as
sudden changes of topic, need of clarification, ambiguity, turn taking,
misunderstandings, and non-understandings. The end-goal is to develop
dialog management methodology that combines data-driven and
knowledge-based (e.g. automata and graphs) techniques.
The project is a mix of data acquisition of dialogue data, theoretical
work, and implementation work. Data acquisition is to be carried out in
an assisted living studio in collaboration with researchers at Bristol
Robotics Lab. During a secondment to Fraunhofer IPA in Stuttgart,
visual-sensor based intention recognition will be integrated. During an
industrial secondment to PAL Robotics in Barcelona, results will be
implemented and evaluated on the TIAGo robotic platforms.
About the position
The successful applicant will receive a competitive salary for a period
of four years full time research, provided that expected study and
research results are achieved. No teaching is expected. The salary will
be based on the standard Marie Skłodowska-Curie Early-Stage Researcher
living and mobility allowances. Expected starting date is 1st of April 2017.
The applicant is required to have completed a second- cycle level
degree, or completed course requirements of at least 240 ECTS credits,
of which at least 60 ECTS credits are at second-cycle level, or have an
equivalent education from overseas, or equivalent qualifications. To
fulfil the specific entry requirements for doctoral studies in computing
science, the applicant is required to have completed courses at
second-cycle level degree equivalent to 60 ECTS credits in computing
science, or in a subject considered to be directly relevant for the
specialisation in question.
Experience in natural language processing, machine learning, and
robotics are important merits, as well as relevant programming skills.
Since the research is conducted in an international research
environment, the ability for good teamwork, and a very good command of
the English language, both written and spoken, are key requirements.
To promote mobility, the following rule applies: At the time of
recruitment, the applicants must not have resided or carried out their
main activity in Sweden for more than 12 months during the last 3 years.
Compulsory national service, work in international organisations, and
short stays such as holidays are not taken into account. The applicants
must not, at the time of recruitment, have spent more than 4 years doing
research, and must not have been awarded a doctoral degree.
Applications must be submitted electronically and be received no later
than November 30, 2016. For further details see
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