[Air-L] 3 doctoral positions: caring robots

William Fearon william.fearon at mail.com
Wed Dec 11 03:28:19 PST 2019

   What is an 'ethical reason?'.

   Sent: Tuesday, December 10, 2019 at 8:06 PM
   From: "Katherine Harrison" <katherine.harrison at gmail.com>
   To: air-l at listserv.aoir.org
   Subject: [Air-L] 3 doctoral positions: caring robots
   We are currently accepting applications to 3 fully funded, 4 year PhD
   positions associated with the research project, ‘The ethics and social
   consequences of AI and caring robots. Learning trust, empathy and
   (deadline 30 January 2020, start date August 2020).
   The project is led by Ericka Johnson and Katherine Harrison at Tema
   Linköping University, Sweden. More information can be found:
   The PhD positions are fully funded (i.e. provide full-employment within
   Swedish system, including paid holidays and other standard social
   etc.) and can be extended up to a fifth year by teaching opportunities
   Position 1: Designing care robots
   What bodies are assumed in the design of companion robots, and how does
   design of the robot affect its interactions with humans? This project
   focuses on how care and affect are materialised in the body of the
   companion robot, with particular critical attention to intersections of
   gender, ethnicity and ability. An additional area of inquiry could
   how the material design features of the robot's body are mediated
   affective programming software to produce a more intimate encounter.
   Position 2: Learning data for companion robots.
   How can robots learn to care when collecting data on relevant humans
   may be
   limited for ethical reasons? Or if real data contain bias, on which
   should you train your data? Generative machine learning techniques
   (such as
   generative adversarial networks (GANs)) offer a solution to problems
   “real” data such as scarce availability, labour intensity of data
   labelling, data biases, or privacy intrusiveness. This project
   comprises a
   critical inquiry into the production/collection of data sets used to
   companion robots learn, and particularly the possibility of using GANs
   assist with this.
   Position 3: The affective space between human and companion robots
   Current advances in robotics often focuses on refining robots to learn
   about and respond better to humans. However, interacting well with a
   also requires significant learning on the part of the human
   This project focuses on the affective space between human and robot,
   the work that both participants must learn to do to create an emotional
   relation characterised by care and trust.
   Interested? Please contact us with any questions (Ericka Johnson <
   ericka.johnson at liu.se> and Katherine Harrison
   <katherine.harrison at liu.se>)
   Applications are made through the Linköping University web interface:
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   1. https://liu.se/en/research/caring-robots
   2. https://liu.se/en/work-at-liu/vacancies?rmpage=job&rmjob=12652&rmlang=UK
   3. http://aoir.org/
   4. http://listserv.aoir.org/listinfo.cgi/air-l-aoir.org
   5. http://www.aoir.org/

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