Postdoctoral position on Artificial Intelligence and Communication

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences – Amsterdam School of Communication Research

Publicatiedatum
12 februari 2018
Opleidingsniveau
Gepromoveerd
Salarisindicatie
€3,475 to €4,757 gross per month
Sluitingsdatum
15 maart 2018
Functieomvang
38 hours per week
Vacaturenummer
18-069

The Amsterdam School of Communication Research ASCoR is the research institute in Communication Science at the University of Amsterdam. It is the largest research institute of its kind in Europe and is among the largest worldwide. More than 50 senior researchers are permanently associated with ASCoR, and its English-language PhD program has more than 35 students.

We currently have a Postdoc vacancy in the Digital Communication Methods Lab, part of the RPA project Communication, directed by Prof. Claes de Vreese.

Project description

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and related technologies are reshaping our communication environment in an extremely fast pace. These changes encompass not only drastic changes to the media landscape (e.g., algorithms, recommendation systems, personalization in social and news media), but also to the partners with whom we communicate (e.g., conversational agents, virtual assistants, bots, social robots with growing levels of sophistication and adoption), and to how we can research communication (e.g., advances in cognitive computing, machine vision, natural language understanding).

In this postdoctoral project, we investigate the changes that AI and related technologies bring to communication and media effects theorizing and research.

Some of the key themes included in this project are:

1. Investigating the content, causes and consequences of AI adoption in communication

  • What is the current, expected and potential scope of adoption of AI and related technologies in different areas of communication?
  • What are the effects of the deployment of and exposure to AI and related technologies (within communication and media) and interaction with AI (e.g., conversational agents) on different populations and in different contexts?
  • Do AI and related technologies have implications for our current theorizing, and if so, what are these implications?

2. Leveraging AI and related technologies for communication research

  • How can AI and related technologies be leveraged to aid data collection and/or improve our current methodological approaches?
  • What are the opportunities of AI and related technologies for assessing media processing or media exposure?
  • What new methodological challenges might we be facing to research communication in an environment increasingly reshaped by AI and related technologies?

The project focuses on different areas such as health, politics, entertainment and/or commerce. We are looking for candidates that fit one of the following profiles:

Option A: Substantive focus

For this option, candidates are expected to select a particular focus of study (within one of the three areas covered by the RPA). The candidate will be part of the Digital Communication Methods Lab, and work in a team to conduct a series of studies focusing on a sub-set of these questions. The candidate is expected to take the lead in organizing studies and producing co-authored publications, and actively contribute to ongoing research projects with her/his expertise. The candidate is also expected to contribute actively to the activities in the Research Priority Area more broadly.

Option B: Methodological focus

The candidate will be part of the Digital Communication Methods Lab, and lead the development of innovative infrastructure, tools and methods that can advance Communication Science research about and with AI and related technologies. The candidate will also work with a team of Communication Science researchers on a series of studies related to AI and related technologies across the three areas covered by the RPA, contributing with her/his methodological and substantive expertise about AI, producing co-authored publications.

Options A and B can be combined. The applicant should indicate and motive a choice for either A, B or the combination in the application.

An 0.8 appointment, possibly with .2 FTE teaching time within the Department of Communication Science, is negotiable.

Requirements

Option A: Substantive focus

You should:

  • have a – preferably proven - research interest in the topic of the project, and knowledge of AI and related technologies, especially related to communication;
  • have a background in communication science, and/or media psychology;
  • have a background in quantitative research methods, notably proven expertise in automated content analysis, experimental and survey research, as shown in, for example, the doctoral dissertation and publications;
  • preferably have expertise in designing, executing and analyzing complex experimental research designs that explore the interaction with or exposure to AI and related technologies (e.g., personalization, algorithms, conversational agents);
  • experience with Computational Social Sciences and/or Data Science, including working knowledge of Python or R for data collection and analysis;
  • have the ability, willingness, and commitment to work in a small, multi-disciplinary team;
  • have an excellent written and spoken command of English, as demonstrated by publications in English-language journals;
  • have excellent organizational, communicative, and presentational skills;
  • hold a relevant PhD degree in behavioral or social sciences or in disciplines relevant to the project. Candidates who are due to submit their dissertation manuscript in Spring 2018 are welcome to apply.

Preferred starting date is (late) summer 2018.

Option B: Methodological focus

You should:

  • have a – preferably proven - research interest in communication science and in the topic of the project, with deep knowledge of AI and related technologies;
  • have a background in computer science, artificial intelligence or related fields, or communication science with demonstrable expertise in the topic;
  • have a background in quantitative research methods, notably proven expertise in automated content analysis, experimental and survey research, as shown in, for example, the doctoral dissertation and publications;
  • have expertise in designing, executing and analyzing complex experimental research designs that explore the interaction with or exposure to AI and related technologies (e.g., personalization, algorithms, conversational agents);
  • experience with Computational Social Sciences and/or Data Science, including working knowledge of Python or R for data collection and analysis;
  • have the ability, willingness, and commitment to work in a small, multi-disciplinary team;
  • have an excellent written and spoken command of English, as demonstrated by publications in English-language journals;
  • have excellent organizational, communicative, and presentational skills;
  • hold a relevant PhD degree in computer, behavioral or social sciences or in disciplines relevant to the project. Candidates who are due to submit their dissertation manuscript in Spring 2018 are welcome to apply.

Preferred starting date is (late) summer 2018

Further information

The Digital Communication Methods Lab is an initiative of the RPA Communication, focusing on innovative research and bringing together existing and new projects with digital communication methods as its cornerstone. The lab aims at expand the innovative work on methods, analyses, and scientific practices critical to Communication Science, including work on mobile communication and AI, not only as research topics, but also as data collection modes.

You may address questions about the application procedure and other general questions to:

Questions about the project content you may address to:

Appointment

The position preferably starts in (late) summer 2018. It concerns, in principle, a two-year period after an initial test period.

Your monthly gross salary will range, depending on your knowledge and experience, between €3,475 and €4,757 (Scale 11) based on a full-time basis.    

We offer a pension scheme, a holiday allowance of 8% per year, and flexible employment conditions. Conditions are based on Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities

Job application

The deadline for applications is 15 March 2018. Please state vacancy number 18-069 in the subject line of your application.

To apply for this position, please send at least the following documents in English by e-mail to ascor-secr-fmg@uva.nl:

  • motivation letter, including a brief discussion about how you  fit with the topic and objectives of the RPA/Digital Communication Methods lab;
  • curriculum vitae, including publication list and overview of academic activities and achievements thus far (e.g., conference visits, courses taken, awards);
  • proof of your PhD degree. If you have not completed your degree at the time of application, please provide a statement from your supervisor confirming the expected date of completion of your degree.
  • an academic writing sample in English (e.g., journal article, PhD dissertation).
  • a list of names that could be consulted by the RPA as a reference for the candidate (no reference letters required).

Please send all your documents in PDF or doc(x) format. Only complete applications will be considered. #LI-DNP

No agencies please

Gepubliceerd door  Universiteit van Amsterdam