Research Associate in Philosophy and Ethics of Human-Computer Interaction
An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Research Associate to explore the boundaries between beneficial designs and undesirable manipulation in human-computer interactions. The postdoctoral Research Associate will be working with Professor Rafael Calvo, as well as Dr. Celine Mougenot and Professor Sebastian Deterding at Imperial and Dr. Rune Nyrup at the University of Cambridge. This is part of a new project of the Wellbeing Technologies Lab...
Job listing information
- Reference ENG02162
- Date posted 23 May 2022
- Closing date 24 June 2022
An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Research Associate to explore the boundaries between beneficial designs and undesirable manipulation in human-computer interactions. The postdoctoral Research Associate will be working with Professor Rafael Calvo, as well as Dr. Celine Mougenot and Professor Sebastian Deterding at Imperial and Dr. Rune Nyrup at the University of Cambridge. This is part of a new project of the Wellbeing Technologies Lab (https://www.positivecomputing.org) with a major consumer electronics company, so the successful candidate will have the opportunity to have a very significant impact worldwide. The team will be developing theory and methods to ensure and validate ethical design in automated recommendations, nudging, supra-liminal techniques, and other persuasive technologies.
Responsibilities and duties will include surveying existing literature (from academic, industrial and policy sources); developing research objectives; articulating and interrogating ethical frameworks; creating presentations, reports and publications; liaising and networking with colleagues in the UK and overseas; and supporting the production of research dissemination resources and workshops. The role requires strong philosophical expertise, a good understanding of digital technology, and the ability to engage in extensive interdisciplinary collaborations with engineers and psychologists, as well as partners in industry and policy.
Duties and responsibilities
The activities associated with this post are:
- Survey existing academic, industry and policy literatures on manipulation in human-computer interactions.
- Critically interrogate existing framework on the ethics of manipulation
- Help develop theoretical framework for identifying boundaries between beneficial design and undesirable manipulation in human-computer interactions.
- Work with psychologists and design engineers to operationalise this framework as design processes and empirical methods to ensure and validate that computer systems do not cross these boundaries.
- Publish original research on philosophy and applied ethics
- Maintain accurate and complete records of all findings
- Assist with the writing of reports to research sponsors
- Present findings to colleagues
- Assist with the publication of findings
- Attend relevant workshops and conferences as necessary
- Develop contacts within the College and the wider community
- Promote the reputation of the Group, the Department and the College
In addition, at Research Associate level:
- Take initiatives in the planning of research
- Write reports for submission to research sponsors
- Submit publications to refereed journals
- Provide guidance to staff and students
- Contribute to bids for research grants
- Conduct and plan own scientific work with appropriate supervision
- Maintain highly organised and accurate record of experimental Work
- Actively participate in the research programme of the Group
- Publish in high quality journals and present finds at national and international meetings.
- Participate in Group research meetings and internal seminars
- Collaborate with other allied scientists within Imperial College and elsewhere in London and abroad, as appropriate
PhD degree or higher in Philosophy or Applied Ethics
Knowledge & Experience
Expertise in an area of philosophy/applied ethics relevant to autonomy, consent, manipulation, nudging or similar topics.
Experience of using philosophical theory and concepts to engage with practical problems arising within other domains, e.g., science, technology or healthcare.
A track record of writing and/or publishing for academic dissemination.
Publication experience appropriate to career stage.
Evidence of previous work in multidisciplinary and multi-stakeholder environments.
Practical experience working within a research environment
Skills & Abilities
Willingness to work flexibly in order to achieve project demands.
Ability to organise and prioritise own work and organise research within the project timetable
Ability to conduct a detailed review of recent literature
Ability to develop and apply new concepts
Creative approach to problem-solving
Excellent verbal communication skills and the ability to deal with a wide range of people
Excellent written communication skills and the ability to write clearly and succinctly for publication, including to interdisciplinary audiences and partners outside of academia.
Ability to organise own work with minimal supervision
Ability to prioritise own work in response to deadlines
Advanced computer skills, including word-processing, spreadsheets and the Internet
Ability to direct the work of a small research team and motivate others to produce a high standard of work (Associate)
*Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as Research Assistant within the salary range £36,694 - £39,888 per annum.
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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.
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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.
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