Research Assistant / Associate in Machine Learning Benchmarking and Problem Design for the Animal-AI Olympics

Job summary

The Department of Computing is a leading department of Computer Science among UK Universities. It has consistently been awarded the highest research rating (5*) in Research Assessment Exercises (RAE) and is rated 10th in the world by the Times Higher Education International Outlook.  This post will be based at the South Kensington Campus. The Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence (CFI) is an interdisciplinary research centre funded...

Job listing information

  • Reference ENG00566
  • Date posted 23 October 2018
  • Closing date 22 November 2018

Job description

Job summary

The Department of Computing is a leading department of Computer Science among UK Universities. It has consistently been awarded the highest research rating (5*) in Research Assessment Exercises (RAE) and is rated 10th in the world by the Times Higher Education International Outlook.  This post will be based at the South Kensington Campus.

The Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence (CFI) is an interdisciplinary research centre funded by a £10 million grant from the Leverhulme Trust. It is based at the University of Cambridge with Imperial as a research partner where this position will be based. CFI’s goal is to ensure that we humans make the best of the opportunities of artificial intelligence as it develops over coming decades.

You will be working under the direction of Prof Murray Shanahan and Dr Matthew Crosby.

 

Duties and responsibilities

CFI is seeking a full-time researcher to design reinforcement learning (RL) tasks and test their suitability for use in a competition by running machine learning (ML) algorithms on them. The tasks will be written in MALMO, Microsoft's AI experimentation platform built on top of Minecraft. The project involves translating experiments from the animal cognition literature, used to test different aspects of intelligence, into AI problems. The translated problems need to be tested with common ML baselines to ensure that they are solvable, and to provide data for comparison. Results will be used to improve the competition design and update problem specifications where necessary.

The researcher will join the Animal-AI Olympics team on the Kinds of Intelligence project at CFI and have the opportunity to become involved with all aspects of the competition, including design and organisation. The position is based at Imperial College London but will include integration with the main CFI team at Cambridge. The applicant will also collaborate on the research papers that will come out of the competition. The competition is set to run during 2019, with the final results announced at the end of the year.

Essential requirements

Essential:

  • Masters degree or PhD in Computing or related field.
  • Experience experimenting with standard deep reinforcement learning algorithms.
  • Familiarity with Python and TensorFlow (or equivalent).

Preferred:

  • Interest in the differences between Biological and Artificial Intelligence
  • Experience with cognitive experiments, especially aspects of intelligence commonly considered challenging for current AI approaches
  • Preference will be given to applicants with a proven research record and publications in the relevant areas.

Further information

In addition to completing the online application, candidates should attach: 

  • A CV (max two pages)
  • A one-page research statement indicating why you are interested in the above post and why your expertise is relevant.

For applications queries please contact Jamie Perrins:  j.perrins@imperial.ac.uk

 

Documents

About Imperial College London

Imperial College London is the UK’s only university focussed entirely on science, engineering, medicine and business and we are consistently rated in the top 10 universities in the world.

You will find our main London campus in South Kensington, with our hospital campuses located nearby in West and North London. We also have Silwood Park in Berkshire and state-of-the-art facilities in development at our major new campus in White City.

We work in a multidisciplinary and diverse community for education, research, translation and commercialisation, harnessing science and innovation to tackle the big global challenges our complex world faces.

It’s our mission to achieve enduring excellence in all that we do for the benefit of society – and we are looking for the most talented people to help us get there.

Additional information

Please note that job descriptions cannot be exhaustive and the post-holder may be required to undertake other duties, which are broadly in line with the above key responsibilities.

All Imperial employees are expected to follow the 7 principles of Imperial Expectations: 

  • Champion a positive approach to change and opportunity
  • Communicate regularly and effectively within, and across, teams
  • Consider the thoughts and expectations of others
  • Deliver positive outcomes
  • Encourage inclusive participation and eliminate discrimination
  • Develop and grow skills and expertise
  • Work in a planned and managed way 

In addition to the above, employees are required to observe and comply with all College policies and regulations.

Imperial College is committed to equality of opportunity, to eliminating discrimination and to creating an inclusive working environment. We are an Athena SWAN Silver award winner, a Stonewall Diversity Champion, a Disability Confident Employer and work in partnership with GIRES to promote respect for trans people.