Till umu.se

Wallenberg Autonomous Systems and Software Program

Umeå University Announces up to 2 PhD Student Positions

Umeå University Announces up to 2 PhD Students within the Wallenberg Autonomous Systems and Software Program (WASP). WASP is Sweden’s largest individual research program ever, and provides a platform for academic research and education, fostering interaction with Sweden’s leading technology companies. The program addresses research on autonomous systems acting in collaboration with humans, adapting to their environment through sensors, information and knowledge, and forming intelligent systems-of-systems. WASP’s key value is research excellence in autonomous systems and software for the benefit of Swedish industry.

The graduate school within WASP is dedicated to provide the skills needed to analyze, develop, and contribute to the interdisciplinary area of autonomous systems and software. Through an ambitious program with research visits, partner universities, and visiting lecturers, the graduate school actively supports forming a strong multi-disciplinary and international professional network between PhD-students, researchers and industry.

The graduate school provides added value on top of the existing PhD programs at the partner universities, providing unique opportunities for students who are dedicated to achieving international research excellence with industrial relevance. Further information about WASP Graduate School can be found here.

Umeå University is now offering up to 2 PhD positions in two projects described below. This offering is part of a joint effort among the WASP partners, see http://wasp-sweden.org/wasp-announces-phd-positions/ for details. An applicant is not allowed to apply for more than two of the positions at the five WASP partner Universities.

The two tentative positions are the following. Please use the links posted below the individual project descriptions to apply for the respective position.

Socially Intelligent Systems for Human-Agent Collaboration

Socially Intelligent Systems for Human-Agent Collaboration

Supervisor:

Assoc. Prof. Helena Lindgren, Dept of Computing Science, Umeå University

Contact information:

Phone +46 90 786 7773, helena.lindgren@umu.se

Project description:

The aim of the research project is to develop socially intelligent software agents for human-agent collaboration. The fundamental challenge lies in how intelligent autonomous agents may collaborate with humans in decision making tasks to achieve goals, and in making prioritizations among potentially conflicting goals, needs, motivations, preferences and choices of actions, e.g. in medical situations where healthcare professionals diagnose or select treatment methods. This is also highly important in situations where a person aims to change unhealthy behaviour, or needs to take action in order to reduce risk in work situations.

To provide socially intelligent systems that humans can trust enough to collaborate with, algorithms for explaining automated learning, reasoning, and values of arguments and decision outcomes will be developed. Artificial intelligence-based methods for user modelling, user adaptation, and for the system to act in a socially acceptable way tailored to a situation will also be developed, partly by formalising theories about human behaviour. Methods that handle uncertain and incomplete information, as well as different types of values, norms, or utilities in such situations will be explored.

Please apply here.

Additional information:

Research group: http://www.cs.umu.se/forskning/forskargrupper/uikm/

Where, when, how - Interacting with Autonomous Systems

Supervisor:

Assoc. Prof. Kai-Florian Richter, Department of Computing Science, Umeå University

Contact information:

+46 90 786 68 31 , kai-florian.richter@umu.se

Project description:

Autonomous systems, such as smart buildings, self-driving vehicles, or robots in household or healthcare settings, are on the verge of becoming integral parts of our society and everyday lives. In recent years, there has been tremendous progress in making these systems truly autonomous, but considerably less thought seems to have been spent on how to interact with them. While autonomous systems are autonomous, they are not self-sufficient. Sooner or later they need to interact with humans, which means they need to communicate in ways these humans can understand, be it verbally, as text, or in graphical form. Such meaningful interaction requires some common ground between human and system on the concept level. And in cases where interactions are few and far apart, it also requires re-establishment of context and proper re-initiation of interaction.

This PhD project will explore such interaction between human and autonomous systems. It will focus on questions of how to determine and communicate meaningful spatial and temporal references, given that the last interaction may have been minutes or even hours ago. The aim is to develop methods for both understanding and producing such references. Among others, research in this project may involve questions of matching human and system understanding of spatial and temporal concepts (knowledge representation / ontologies), determining relevant, meaningful references (reasoning / machine learning), and how to best re-establish interaction contexts (human-computer interaction).

Please apply here.