PhD vacancy at MUSTS with a focus on researching diversity and bias in artificial intelligence

diversity and bias in AI
Image produced by DALL·E 2023-02-14 21.20.51 - painting on computer users with diverse gender and ethnicity and race

This PhD position is part of the ‘Trustworthy AI for Media Lab’ (TAIM) and funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO).

You will be based at the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, working under the supervision of Professor Sally Wyatt and Dr Annika Richterich.

Can we train artificial intelligence (AI) to be fair and inclusive? This PhD position will allow you to conduct social science research on how diversity in all of its forms – including age, ethnicity, disability, gender, health, sexuality or religion – is considered in the development of Al systems. ln recent years, we have seen how Al systems, e.g. based on historic data, quickly learn to intensify discrimination, exclusion and hate speech: for example in the association of jobs with genders, or crime with ethnic groups. Such biased systems are fundamentally at odds with democratic values of accountability and transparency. Media companies play an important role in such dynamics, and thus have a particular responsibility to develop AI systems that enable people to become informed citizens and fairly represent issues, rather than merely promoting content to keep audiences amused.

This PhD position is one of five PhD projects in the ‘Trustworthy AI for Media Lab’ (TAIM). TAIM is a collaboration between social scientists and computer scientists at Maastricht University and the University of Amsterdam as well as the media company RTL. The lab is part of the NWO-funded “Trustworthy AI-based Systems for Sustainable Growth” program, comprising 17 universities, 19 industry partners, and 15 collaborating partners representing diverse stakeholder groups. You will conduct social science research with the scientists and industry researchers working in this project, notably in collaboration with the scientists at TAIM and our industry partner RTL. You will gain valuable experience working with an industry partner, and will be able to tap into a wealth of networking, career development, and training opportunities in conjunction with ICAI, at the University of Amsterdam (UvA).

As one of the 17 new ICAI labs, TAIM will develop methods, metrics and tools to evaluate and improve diversity and inclusion in AI and media. TAIM brings together two of the strongest groups on personalization and recommender systems in the Netherlands (UM and UvA), with a leading media organization (RTL), to reflect and work on trustworthy and personalized media developments. Based at the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, you will join its renowned interdisciplinary research program in Science, Technology and Society Studies (MUSTS).

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