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Researcher/Post doc (EXPIRED)

Sentience Institute

Job category Postdoc or similar / Tenured, continuing or permanent
AOS Open
AOC Open
Workload Full time
Vacancies 1
Location Remote work
Organization based in New York, New York, United States
Start date Flexible
Job description

This hiring round is now closed, but we welcome expressions of interest for a researcher position through this form.

We are also keen to collaborate with academics and other organizations who are doing similar research to our own. Please feel free to email us at [email protected].

We are open to a variety of research methods: qualitative (e.g. historical case studies, interviews, conceptual analysis), quantitative (e.g. surveys, behavioral experiments, analysis of existing industry and survey data), or mixed methods. As of 2023, most of our research has been psychological experiments and surveys, so we are especially interested in projects more closely related to the fields of human-computer/robot/AI interaction and ‘macro’ social science (e.g., sociology, economics).

Please note that the application form requires a Google account for uploads. If you do not have a Google account you may send your responses and materials to [email protected].

Sentience Institute is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment regardless of their race, color, religion, age, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, or veteran status.

Please contact [email protected] with any questions.


Our main research focus is digital minds: artificial intelligences (AIs) that are not merely intelligent in the sense of problem-solving ability, but have mental capacities such as experience and agency. We see this as an important, neglected, and tractable research area for ensuring future AI systems are safe and beneficial, and interest in it has grown significantly in recent months with ChatGPT, Bing AI, and other advances in large language models. Because this is such a new field, a lot of our research so far has been big-picture scoping and laying groundwork for future projects. Over the next few years, we hope to help build a robust body of theoretical and empirical digital minds literature. Our publications to date include:

  • “The Moral Consideration of Artificial Entities: A Literature Review.” 2021. Science and Engineering Ethics.
  • “Moral Circle Expansion: A Promising Strategy to Impact the Far Future.” 2021. Futures.
  • “Artificial Intelligence, Morality, and Sentience (AIMS) Survey 2021.” 2022. Sentience Institute.
  • “The History of AI Rights Research.” 2022. Sentience Institute.
  • “Predicting the Moral Consideration of Artificial Intelligences.” 2022. Computers in Human Behavior.
  • “Digital suffering: Why it’s a Problem and How to Prevent it.” 2022. Inquiry.
  • “What would qualify an artificial intelligence for moral standing?” 2023. AI and Ethics.

At this time, we are particularly interested in work on human-computer/robot/AI interaction and ‘macro’ social science (e.g., sociology, economics) where we see important projects beyond the specializations of our current staff (primarily social and cognitive psychology). Overarching questions for the field of digital minds include:

  • What digital minds will exist in short- and long-term futures?
  • How will humans react to digital minds?
  • What is the philosophical nature and moral worth of digital minds?
  • How will digital minds interact, and what kind of society will that create?
  • What strategies are most promising for improving futures with digital minds?

When SI was founded in 2017, we were primarily focused on farmed animals as the frontier of humanity's moral circle. We continue to do some work on animal issues but don’t expect it to be a key focus for a 2023 hire. We expect our future research on animal issues to be similar to our previous research, most of which is listed on our Reports page.

How to apply
Application type Online
Web address to apply https://forms.gle/YEuiEsHj3i9KvmuR9
Deadline for full consideration: April 10, 2023, 12:00am EST

(applications under review)

Hard deadline No deadline specified (applications considered on an ongoing basis)
Web address for more information https://www.sentienceinstitute.org/get-involved
Contact name Michael Dello-Iacovo
Contact email
Time created March 7, 2023, 5:02pm UTC
Scheduled expiry date September 3, 2023, 2:49am EST
Expired on September 3, 2023, 3:46am EST
Last updated November 3, 2023, 3:00pm UTC
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