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Postdoc Job in Artificial Intelligence, Digital Companions – Umea, Sweden

Umeå University (UMU)


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Oct 31, 2021 23:59 (GMT +2)

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The research group Intelligent Interactive Systems at the Department of Computing Science at Umeå University is seeking outstanding candidates for a post-doctoral position in Computer Science with focus on digital companions as social actors.

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General Info

Position: Postdoc
No. of Positions: 1
Research Field: , , ,
Deadline to Apply: October 31, 2021(GMT +2)
Joining Date: ASAP
Contract Period: 2 Years
Salary: According to Standard Norms

Research group Intelligent Interactive Systems
Department of Computing Science
Umeå University (UMU)

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Qualification Details

Applicants must have earned a PhD in Artificial Intelligence or a subject relevant for the position. The PhD degree should not be more than three years old by the application deadline, unless special circumstances exist. Special circumstances include absence due to illness, parental leave or clinical practice, appointments of trust in trade unions or similar circumstances. This must be clearly stated in the application.

Strong research merits and excellent publications in the area of the position are required. Proficiency in English, both spoken and written, is required. Since research is conducted in an international and multidisciplinary research environment, the ability to collaborate and contribute to teamwork are key requirements.

Candidates are expected to have very good knowledge of AI concepts and methods for human-AI interaction, and expertise in formal models, user modelling, adaptive interactive systems as demonstrated by publications and other scientific output. Demonstrable knowledge of modelling and implementing dialogue systems, multi-agent systems, intelligent virtual agents and other interaction technologies is a merit. Knowledge of human cognition and activity obtained in studies in e.g., psychology or cognitive science, medical and health-related knowledge and experiences from interdisciplinary projects are also merits.

Ideal candidates are research driven, organized, curious, eager to work on challenging problems, and have a genuine interest for multidisciplinary research.

Responsibilities/Job Description

The aim of the overall project is to investigate the impact of semi-autonomous intelligent systems as digital companions and social actors on human activity in order to inform the design and development of such systems. We will in particular investigate the impact from the perspectives of purposeful activity, social order and roles, motivation, empowerment, emotional wellbeing and sustainable behaviour change for improving health in daily life. Problems to be addressed include how systemic theories about human behaviour, emotions and motivation can inform and advance the knowledge models, reasoning models and automated learning of the digital companion, how can mechanisms for collaboration and companionship be understood, designed and developed, and how can the system collaborate with the human while balancing initiative, autonomy, responsibility and conflicting goals.

How to Apply?

Online Application through "Apply Now" Button from this page or from advertisement webpage (URL below)

Reference Number: -AN 2.2.1-1094-21
(If any, use it in the necessary place)

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Documents Required

A complete application includes:

  • An introductory letter including a 2-page statement of research interests relative to the above topics and a motivation of why your expertise is appropriate for the position.
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) including a complete list of scientific publications.
  • Certified copies of degree certificates, including documentation of completed academic courses and obtained grades
  • A copy of your PhD thesis and copies of (max 5) original research publications relevant to the above topics, numbered according to the publication list.
  • Names and contact information for three persons willing to act as references.

Incomplete applications or applications with a generic letter of intent will not be considered.

The application must be written in English or Swedish, and attached documents must be written in or translated to English or Swedish. Documents must be in Word or pdf format.

About the Department

The Department of Computing Science is a dynamic environment with around 140 employees representing more than 20 countries worldwide. We conduct education and research on a broad range of topics in Computing Science. The department’s work on Artificial Intelligence has a strong international position, in particular on the topics of collaborative and responsible AI. In these areas, the Interactive and Intelligent Systems group conducts research on AI systems that need to manifest social intelligence and adaptive behaviour when collaborating with the human. For this purpose, the group investigates formal models of actors, activity and situations, reasoning and decision-making frameworks, and explores together with stakeholder groups behaviours of interactive AI systems for improving human capacity, autonomy and health, such as digital companions, dialogue systems, behaviour change systems and persuasive systems. The group collaborates interdisciplinary research with national and international research groups, and with public and private organisations. For more information see .

This project “Digital Companions as Social Actors: Employing Socially Intelligent Systems for Managing Stress and Improving Emotional Wellbeing” is financed by the Marcus and Marianne Wallenberg Foundation, and is part of the Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program – Humanity and society (WASP-HS). WASP-HS aims to realise excellent research and develop competence on the consequences and challenges of artificial intelligence and autonomous systems for the individual person and society. For more information about the research and other activities conducted within WASP please visit

About the Employer: Umeå University (UMU)

Note or Other details

Umeå University wants to offer an equal environment where open dialogue between people with different backgrounds and perspectives lay the foundation for learning, creativity and development. We welcome women, non-binary people and people with different backgrounds and experiences to apply for this position.

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Contact details

For additional information, please contact Prof. Helena Lindgren

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