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Research Associate

The University of Edinburgh - College of Science and Engineering, School of Informatics

Location: Edinburgh
Salary: £34,304 to £40,927 (Grade 7)
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 23rd November 2021
Closes: 17th December 2021
Job Ref: 2655
 

Available for 24 months

1 post available

The School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh invites applications for a post-doctoral Research Assistant position under the supervision of Dr Björn Ross (Institute of Language, Cognition and Computation) and Dr Vaishak Belle (Artificial Intelligence and its Applications Institute). The postholder will be part of the new Edinburgh Laboratory for Integrated Artificial Intelligence, the SMASH group and the Belle Lab.

The Opportunity:

We are offering an exciting opportunity to work in an interdisciplinary, collaborative environment integrating different subfields of computer science and artificial intelligence.

Current AI approaches to misinformation detection often learn to recognise paraphrases of previously seen claims. Detecting new misinformation is much harder, and linguistic cues are not enough to distinguish fact from fiction. The approach to be pursued in this project is grounded in knowledge graphs and the logic of causality. However, this approach has its own challenges. Much of the misinformation encountered is not limited to simple factual statements that can be tested against a structured representation of knowledge but it consists of claims such as projections into the future and counterfactual claims. We therefore use an approach that integrates approaches from different subfields of computer science, namely, computational logic, deep learning and natural language processing.

To better integrate reasoning capabilities into fact-checking systems, we leverage recent advancements in question answering (QA) systems for misinformation detection and similar tasks. A great amount of effort goes into enhancing their reasoning capabilities to allow them to respond to more complex queries, by making use of knowledge graphs and making probabilistic inferences from such data. An interesting development here are proposals of logic programming-based frameworks for modelling probabilistic relational knowledge. We intend for fact checking and misinformation detection to benefit from these developments.

There is funding for consumables (e.g. laptop) and international travel (where deemed necessary, and subject to COVID-19 restrictions).

Essential

  • PhD (or near completion) in Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence or a related discipline
  • Experience and evidence of effective independent research work within an interdisciplinary team. More broadly, demonstrated ability to plan and carry out a work programme appropriate to the research project, to solve problems independently and make original contributions to research.
  • Demonstrated quality of research performance, as evidenced by high-quality publications in top tier venues (e.g. AAAI, ACL, ICML, EMNLP, NIPS, WWW, ICWSM and relevant journals…)
  • Ability to communicate complex information clearly, orally and in writing, in English

Desirable

  • Experience with natural language processing, esp. semantic parsing, question answering
  • Experience with computational logic, logic programming
  • Experience with structured knowledge bases, knowledge graphs
  • Experience with computational social science, esp. misinformation detection and the (semi-automated) moderation of user-generated content

Full Job Description: Click HERE for a copy of the full job description

Please ensure you include a supporting statement and CV in your application

Informal enquiries to be directed to Dr. Björn Ross, b.ross@ed.ac.uk

The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in Scotland, with registration number SC005336. Is e buidheann carthannais a th’ ann an Oilthigh Dhùn Èideann, clàraichte an Alba, àireamh clàraidh SC005336.

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