Umeå University,Department of computing science

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Research topic: Strategic Argumentation to deal with interactions between intelligent systems and humans

The Department of Computing Science at Umeå University is seeking outstanding candidates for a PhD student position in Computer Science with focus on socially intelligent systems for human-agent collaboration. Deadline for application is August 16, 2020.

The Department of Computing Science is a dynamic environment with around 100 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 (AI) has a strong international position, in particular on the topics of collaborative and responsible AI. In these areas, the focus is on human-AI interaction and on the ethical and societal impact of AI. Researchers collaborate with several national and international research groups, and have active links with industry and policy organisations. Visit and for more information.

Wallenberg Foundations and WASP-HS

The project is financed by the Wallenberg Foundations. The intention is that the student will be affiliated to WASP-HS, the Wallenberg Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Systems and Software Program – Humanities and Society. The WASP-HS graduate school provide foundations, perspectives, and state-of-the-art knowledge in the different disciplines taught by leading researchers in the field. It thus provides added value on top of the existing PhD programs at the hosting university, providing unique opportunities for students who are dedicated to achieving international research excellence in a research and other activities conducted within WASP-HS please visit

Research project

Collaborative intelligence between humans and intelligent systems relies heavily on the skills of humans and intelligent systems for reaching agreements between them. However, reaching these agreements requires complex interaction processes, which include human reasoning based on common sense and goal-oriented decision-making processes performed by the intelligence systems. For reaching their goals, intelligent systems need to put different strategies into play during their social interactions.

In this project, we propose to investigate strategic argumentation to reach agreements between humans and intelligent systems in dialogue game settings. To this end, we will develop formal reasoning methods based on non-monotonic reasoning theories such as Formal Argumentation and Answer Set Programming. We will evaluate these formal reasoning methods from formal and practical points of view. The practical evaluation will be set up in the scope of digital companions.

About the position
The successful applicant will be employed by Umeå University and receive a competitive salary for a period of four years of full time PhD studies, provided that the studies are progressing reasonably well. PhD students are typically offered the opportunity to gain teaching experience on suitable undergraduate courses. If so, the employment period is extended to cover the time spent on teaching (at most 20 %). Expected starting date is 1st of January 2021 or as otherwise agreed.

Admission requirements
The applicant is required to have completed a second- cycle level degree, or completed course requirements of at least 240 ECTS credits, of which at least 60 ECTS credits are at second-cycle level, or have an equivalent education from overseas, or equivalent qualifications. To fulfil the specific entry requirements for doctoral studies in computing science, the applicant is required to have completed courses at second-cycle level degree equivalent to 90 ECTS credits in computing science, or in a subject considered to be directly relevant for the specialisation in question.
Candidates are expected to have very good knowledge in logic-based formal reasoning methods. Demonstrate knowledge in modelling cognitive or economic theories into formal logical theories is an advantage.
Since research is conducted in an international research environment, the ability to collaborate and contribute to teamwork, and a very good command of the English language, both written and spoken, are key requirements.

A complete application should contain the following documents:
• A cover letter including a description of your research interests, your reasons to apply for the position, and your contact information
• A curriculum vitae
• If applicable, copy of completed BSc and/or MSc thesis and other original research publications
• Copies of degree certificates, including documentation of completed academic courses and obtained grades
• Contact information for two persons willing to act as references

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. Applications must be submitted electronically using the e-recruitment system of Umeå University, and be received no later than August 16, 2020. Reference number: AN 2.2.1-796-20. Log on to the system and apply via the button at the bottom of the web page.

The procedure for recruitment for the position is in accordance with the Higher Education Ordinance (chapter 12, 2§) and the decision regarding the position cannot be appealed. The recruitment aims at a balanced gender distribution, and in particular women are encouraged to apply.
For additional information, please contact Assoc. Prof. Juan Carlos Nieves or Prof. Virginia Dignum

We look forward to receiving your application!

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment 2021-01-01, eller enligt överenskommelse
Salary Månadslön
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100%
City Umeå
County Västerbottens län
Country Sweden
Reference number AN 2.2.1-796-20
  • Juan Carlos Nieves , 090-786 61 25
  • Virginia Dignum, 090-786 63 08
Union representative
  • SACO, 090-786 53 65
  • SEKO, 090-786 52 96
  • ST, 090-786 54 31
Published 01.Jun.2020
Last application date 16.Aug.2020 11:59 PM CET

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