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Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Humanising Machine Intelligence Project, Australian National University

Job category Postdoc or similar / Fixed term
AOS Moral and Political Philosophy of Computing, Philosophy of Data Science and AI
AOS categories Philosophy of Science
Applied Ethics
AOC Open
Workload Full time
Vacancies 1
Organization's reference number 542065
Location Canberra, Michelago, Australia
Start date From early to mid 2022
Job description

Classification: Level B

Salary package: $101,805 - $115,428 per annum, plus 17% Super

Term: Full time, continuing contingent appointment, with an expected end date in 2 years from the start

  • Join a multidisciplinary project advancing the study and design of democratically legitimate data and AI systems.
  • Connect with an international network of world-class researchers working on AI and society.
  • Contribute to ground-breaking and impactful research addressing one of the grand challenges of the twenty-first century.

Position overview

The ANU is seeking a world-class researcher to join a team of philosophers, computer scientists, lawyers and social scientists, on the Humanising Machine Intelligence (HMI) Grand Challenge project. Our goal is to contribute to the design and adoption of sociotechnical systems necessary for democratically legitimate data and AI—that is data and AI systems that are responsive to the values and decision-making procedures of democratic societies. 

Knitting together insights from computer science, law, philosophy, political science, and sociology, HMI is helping to shape government regulation of AI systems; to enable industry practitioners to develop AI systems that comply with, and exceed, those regulatory standards; and to build an international research community that supports those two goals.

We seek to appoint a 24 month postdoctoral fellow who can advance these research objectives, with a particular view to the research programmes described in the Position Description found on the website linked above (though other research agendas on complementary themes will be considered). 

Our primary criterion is demonstrated research excellence in a discipline area relevant to the project, and the clear potential to make internationally-recognised progress on these and related themes. We are keen to see strong applications from philosophers with training in moral and political philosophy, or philosophy of science, and an interest in pursuing ground-breaking research related to data and AI. 

An interdisciplinary background is not required, but successful applicants will be ready and equipped to engage with scholars from other disciplines. We are keen to appoint someone who can collaborate with lawyers on the HMI team, though this is not a strict requirement.

Successful applicants will publish internationally influential research in leading peer-reviewed venues (as suited to their discipline). We expect them to go on from the ANU to leading positions in academia and industry. A crucial component of their role will be to help maintain and build the HMI community at ANU and globally, through active participation in the collective research life of the project, and service roles such as convening a seminar series and international workshops.

The position is open with respect to discipline and subfield. A prior track record of work on AI and society (and related issues as appropriate to their training) is desirable but not required. The successful applicant will be expected to begin the role in a position to work on these themes, and to focus their work on topics that advance the HMI research agenda.

This position will be attached to the HMI project, and will be supervised by one of the project executive team as appropriate to their discipline (Lazar, Davis, Xie, Kurniawati, Erskine) on behalf of the project executive as a whole, and based in the school. If a philosopher is appointed, they will be supervised by Lazar, and based in the School of Philosophy. 

ANU is regarded as one of the world's leading research universities. It is ranked 1st in Australia and the whole of Oceania, and 27th in the world (2021 QS World University Rankings). Our location in the nation’s capital and close connections to government and industry means we are in a unique position to bridge government, industry and academia to inform and influence Australian public policy. The University is engaged in social discourse and public policy development while being research intensive.

Our research is second to none in quality and impact. We continue to attract the most exciting academic talent globally and support their success. We provide the platforms and investment to enable the co-creation of new approaches to interdisciplinary problem-solving and support our academics to realise the possibilities of their discoveries in society and business. Above all, we champion the value of pure research as the building blocks of all new knowledge: “first, to know the nature of things.”

As a member of the HMI project you would join a truly interdisciplinary team of scholars across the humanities, computer science and law who are pushing the bounds of foundational research in creating democratically legitimate sociotechnical AI systems.

Enquiries: Professor Seth Lazar T: +61 42032954 E: [email protected]

ANU values diversity and inclusion and is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to those of all backgrounds and identities. For more information about staff equity at ANU, visit https://services.anu.edu.au/human-resources/respect-inclusion

Application information

In order to apply for this role please make sure that you upload the following documents:

  • A statement addressing the selection criteria.
  • A current curriculum vitae (CV) which includes the names and contact details of at least three referees (preferably including a current or previous supervisor). If your CV does not include referees you can complete these online when prompted in the application form.
  • A writing sample (recent published or unpublished paper, solo-, lead-, or equal co-authored)
  • A detailed statement of research plans if appointed to the position (1-2 pages)
  • Other documents, if required.

Applications which do not address the selection criteria may not be considered for the position.

Please note: The successful candidate will be required to undergo a background check during the recruitment process.  An offer of employment is conditional on satisfactory results. 

How to apply
Application type Online
Web address to apply https://jobs.anu.edu.au/en/job/542065/research-fel...
Email to apply
Hard deadline November 5, 2021, 11:59pm +08:00
Web address for more information https://jobs.anu.edu.au/en/job/542065/research-fel...
Contact name Seth Lazar
Contact email
Contact phone +61420432954
Time created September 17, 2021, 8:04pm UTC
Scheduled expiry date November 5, 2021, 11:59pm +08:00
Last updated September 17, 2021, 8:04pm UTC
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