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Research Fellow in Bio-inspired Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

University of Sussex - School of Engineering and Informatics, Department of Informatics

Location: Falmer
Salary: £33,199 to £39,609 per annum
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 13th August 2019
Closes: 23rd September 2019
Job Ref: 2091

Hours: full time. The position will include extended trips to Australia (1-6 months/visit, and approximately 12 months in total over the 3 years)
Contract: Fixed term for 3 years 
Salary: Starting at £33,199 and rising to £39,609 per annum
Closing date: 23 September 2019. Applications must be received by midnight of the closing date.
Expected Interview date: 7 October 2019
Expected start date: 1 November 2019

Are you a talented and ambitious computer scientist, computational neuroscientist or machine learner? Are you looking for an opportunity to use cutting edge technology to gain new understanding of how small-brained insects learn so rapidly and robustly, and in turn develop novel active AI algorithms that are inspired by these insights? We have an opportunity for a Research Fellow to join the Brains on Board team at the Department of Informatics at the University of Sussex. The Fellow will additionally work in close collaboration with a partner Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield and world-leading neuroscientists in Australia. The project is funded through the prestigious £1.2m EPSRC International Centre to Centre Collaboration project: “ActiveAI: active learning and selective attention for rapid, robust and efficient AI.”

Your primary role will be to develop a new class of ActiveAI controllers for problems in which insects excel but deep learning methods struggle. you will develop insect-inspired models, in which behavioural strategies and specialised sensors actively structure sensory input while selective attention drives learning to the most salient information. The cycle of modelling and experiments will be achieved through extended visits to Australia, which will allow you to interact with biologists and shape novel insect experiments, that in turn will inspire computational and robotic models and novel algorithms. This includes significant scope for you to creatively shape and drive the project to your interests. In particular, you will be able to organise the length of these visits flexibly but it is anticipated you will spend approximately 12 months in total in Australia over the 3 years in visits of 2-6 months. In this way, we will both advance neuroscience and enable ActiveAI solutions which will be efficient in final network configuration, robust to real-world conditions and learn rapidly.

You will work under the supervision of Professors Andrew Philippides, Thomas Nowotny and Paul Graham within the Department of Informatics at Sussex and will join a team of 4 research fellows and 4 PhD students at Sussex. This is in addition to our collaborators in the Universities of Sheffield and Queen Mary within the £4.8m EPSRC Brains on Board Programme Grant. More specifically, you will be in partnership with a corresponding Research Fellow and team at the University of Sheffield, led by Dr Mike Mangan. Together, you will lead a new collaboration with world-leading research partners in Australia including Professor Andrew Barron at Macquarie University, Dr Bruno van Swinderen at the University of Queensland and Dr Karin Nordstrom at Flinders University through extended secondments.

For informal enquiries, please email Andy Philippides, Professor of Biorobotics at the University of Sussex (andrewop@sussex.ac.uk).

The University of Sussex values the diversity of its staff and students and we welcome applicants from all backgrounds.

   
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