[DL] 4-year PhD position on "Knowledge Representation and Reasoning for Personal Agents"

Riemsdijk, Birna van (UT-EEMCS) m.b.vanriemsdijk at utwente.nl
Tue May 24 10:52:33 CEST 2022

=== PhD position on Knowledge Representation and Reasoning for Personal Agents ===

Project: Hybrid Intelligence<https://www.hybrid-intelligence-centre.nl/>
Keywords: knowledge representation & reasoning, non-monotonic reasoning, computational logic, user modelling
Offer: fully funded 4-year PhD position at University of Twente, The Netherlands
Application: https://utwentecareers.nl/en/vacancies/581/phd-position-on-knowledge-representation-and-reasoning-for-personal-agents/

Deadline for application: June 24th, 2022


Digital information technology is increasingly interwoven with our society and individuals' daily lives. With these digital technologies tracking and influencing our everyday behavior, they should align with the user’s needs and values. To achieve this, personal agents need to model the user’s informational and motivational attitudes such as goals, values, norms, beliefs, and their interrelations in order to derive support actions that are aligned with the user. This is challenging because 1) user models need to be understandable to and modifiable by the user, 2) conflicts may occur in the user’s motivations, and 3) the user’s state and motivations may change over time and in different contexts. Techniques from the area of knowledge representation & reasoning (KRR) and in particular non-monotonic reasoning (NMR) offer a promising approach for addressing these challenges as they are in principle easier to explain, and designed for dealing with conflicting and dynamic information.

We offer a fully funded 4-year PhD position to investigate how KRR & NMR techniques such as belief revision, argumentation, defeasible reasoning, inconsistency handling, and reasoning about actions can be employed for user modelling in the context of personal agents. Questions that can be addressed are for example: Which types of update operations on user models are required? Is a new norm in conflict with existing desired behaviors? Can belief revision techniques be adapted for run-time norm revision? With this we lay the foundations for flexible and value-aligned personal agents that give people agency over their lives with digital technology.

The position is associated with the Hybrid Intelligence Centre (https://www.hybrid-intelligence-centre.nl<https://www.hybrid-intelligence-centre.nl/>), a 10-year Dutch national research program which investigates how we can create AI that augments, instead of replaces human intelligence.


The prospective candidates are expected to perform and publish high quality and internationally visible research, and be involved in teaching and student supervision to a limited extent.


- You hold or will soon hold a Master's degree (or equivalent) in computer science, artificial intelligence, or a related field;
- You have excellent proficiency in English in speaking and writing (C1; above IELTS 7 or equivalent);
- You have good communication skills, excellent conceptual and analytical skills, and you have an interest in working in a multidisciplinary environment;
- You have interest and some experience in one or more of the following, or related topics: knowledge representation and reasoning, non-monotonic reasoning, computational logic, logic-based agents, logic & language, or formal methods.


The position is embedded in the Human Media Interaction (HMI) department at University of Twente. HMI is a friendly and welcoming research group, with attention to employee wellbeing. The terms of employment are in accordance with the Dutch Collective Labour Agreement for Universities (CAO) and include:

- A fulltime PhD position for four years, with a qualifier in the first year.
- Full status as an employee at the UT, including pension and health care benefits.
- The salary will range from € 2.434,- (1st year) to € 3.111,- (4th year) per month, plus a holiday allowance of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3%;
- A solid pension scheme;
- a minimum of 29 leave days in case of fulltime employment, based on 38 hours a week. A week schedule of 40 hours would result in 12 extra leave days;
- Excellent facilities for professional and personal development.


The deadline for application is June 24th, 2022. The preferred starting date is October 1st 2022 or earlier. Informal inquiries about this position can be sent to Birna van Riemsdijk (m.b.vanriemsdijk at utwente.nl<mailto:m.b.vanriemsdijk at utwente.nl>).

More information about how to apply, and about the HMI research group and the University of Twente can be found via this link: https://utwentecareers.nl/en/vacancies/581/phd-position-on-knowledge-representation-and-reasoning-for-personal-agents/

Dr. M. Birna van Riemsdijk
Associate professor Intimate Computing
University of Twente
Website: https://intimate-computing.net
Twitter: @mbirna
Skype: mbirna

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