PhD Candidate in Artificial Intelligence and Computer Vision

Maastricht University
February 20, 2023
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Offerd Salary:€2.541
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Contract Type:Fixed-term contract:
Working Time:Full time
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Job description

In this project you will strive to generate from full length video summaries such as trailers or thumbnails that increase interest in viewing the content, without spoiling the experience. For this a deep understanding of the full length material is needed, using AI models to analyse scenes, faces, music, etc. From this deep understanding and the extensive archives of already produced promotional material at RTL, you will build models of what makes scenes interesting. The main scientific challenge for this workpackage is how to best automatically or semi-automatically (using human-in-the-loop algorithms and pipelines) generate summaries from a full length video, while considering the diversity and fairness of this content.

You will be part of one of the 17 new ICAI labs, named TAIM (Trustworthy AI for Media Lab) consisting of 5 PhD students, who will collaborate on developing methods, metrics and tools to evaluate and improve diversity and inclusion in media (https: // icai.ai/icai-labs/taim/). The TAIM lab will bring together two of the strongest groups on personalization and recommender systems in the Netherlands (UM and UvA), with a leading media organization (RTL), to develop trustworthy and personalized media.

The TAIM lab is part of the large LTP ROBUST program “Trustworthy AI-based Systems for Sustainable Growth” consortium, comprising 17 universities, 19 industry partners, and 15 collaborating partners representing diverse stakeholder groups (https: // icai.ai/labs-robust/). 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, the Innovation Center for Artificial Intelligence at the University of Amsterdam.

This PhD position is embedded in the Explainable Artificial Intelligence (EAI) and Cognitive Systems (CS) groups of the Department of Advanced Computing Sciences (DACS). The groups consist of full Professors and Associate & Assistant Professors, postdoctoral researchers, PhD candidates and master/bachelor students. Each group works closely together on a day-to-day basis, to exchange knowledge, ideas, and research advancements. We conduct both fundamental and applied research, with a focus on Explainable Artificial Intelligence and Computer Vision.

The PhD candidate will also benefit from a strong industry and research network such as involvement with a Marie-Curie European International Training Network on Interactive Natural Language Technology for Explainable Artificial Intelligence (NL4XAI https: // nl4xai.eu/), the integration with AI hub Brightlands and with the AI, Media & Democracy Lab in Amsterdam.

The successful candidate is expected to:

  • perform scientific research in AI and computer vision;
  • publish results at top-tier (international) conferences and in international journals;
  • work independently, as well as collaboratively in both research oriented and in applied settings;
  • assist with educational tasks (e.g., assist labs, supervise Master students and internships).
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    Requirements
  • M.Sc. degree (completed, or to be completed shortly) in Computer Science, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, or equivalent;
  • Very good programming skills;
  • Demonstrated (e.g., through publications, code, projects, etc.) interest and experience with the fields of AI/Deep Learning/Machine Learning and Computer Vision;
  • Proficiency in English (oral and written);
  • Very good presentation, communication and organization skills;
  • Ability to collaborate in an applied, multi-disciplinary, and international setting;
  • Additionally, we would like it if you have:

  • Experience with deep learning frameworks and video data processing;
  • Experience with the full machine learning pipeline;
  • A curious and entrepreneurial mindset;
  • If your profile does not completely meet the above criteria, but you are interested and you want to show us your unique perspective on why you would fit this project, we would still like to hear from you

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    Conditions of employment

    Fixed-term contract: 4 years (first year + three years after receiving a positive evaluation).

    The full-time position is offered for a duration of four years, with yearly evaluations. You will be based in Maastricht. Additionally, you will closely collaborate with a leading entertainment brand, RTL, by working at their premises one day per week in Hilversum.

    The salary will be set in PhD salary scale of the Collective Labour Agreement of the Dutch Universities (€2.541 gross per month in first year to €3.247 in the fourth and final year). On top of this, there is an 8% holiday and an 8.3% year-end allowance. The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. Non-Dutch applicants could be eligible for a favorable tax treatment (30% rule). For more information please check the website www. maastrichtuniversity.nl > About UM > Working at UM.

    Preferred starting date is April 2023.

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    Employer Maastricht University

    Maastricht University : The UM culture thrives due to its collaborative and innovative approach, with constant interaction between staff, students, and researchers, all working together to take on new challenges. This approach creates an exciting workplace. Our focus is to shape the future by critically reflecting on current situations, and valuing new ideas and developments.

    DACS : The Department of Advanced Computing Sciences is Maastricht University's largest and oldest department broadly covering the fields of artificial intelligence, data science, computer science, mathematics and robotics. It launched as the joint identity of two Maastricht University research groups: the Institute of Data Science (IDS) and the former Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering (DKE)

    Over 100 researchers work and study in the Department of Advanced Computing Sciences, whose roots trace back to 1987. The department's staff teaches approximately 800 bachelor's and master's students in 3 specialized study programmes in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence. A new bachelor's programme in Computer Science will be added in 2023

    https: // www. maastrichtuniversity.nl/research/department-advanced-computing- sciences

    You are joining a unique team formed of:

    FaSoS, Maastricht University: The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASoS) has a very international student body and 42% of our staff comes from abroad. All programs are offered in English. FASoS offers four 3-year BA programs: Arts and Culture, European Studies, Digital Society, and Global Studies. It also offers eight different 1-year MA programs and two 2-year Research Master programs.

    Research is organised around four programmes: Politics and Culture in Europe; Science, Technology and Society Studies; Arts, Media and Culture; and Globalisation, Transnationalism and Development. The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is housed in the historic city centre of Maastricht.

    RTL: RTL Nederland is the leading commercial media and entertainment company in the Netherlands. We are on a mission to make a meaningful difference in people's lives with unforgettable stories that touch the heart and mind. With our five free-to-air TV channels and our popular digital brands - including our video-on-demand platform Videoland, catchup platform RTL XL, weather app Buienradar and news platform RTL Nieuws - we reach millions of customers every month. RTL aims to be an inclusive media company that tells diverse local stories and shows role models that everyone in the Netherlands can recognize and be inspired by. To achieve this, we are increasing diversity both in front of and behind the scenes. RTL is based in Hilversum, The Netherlands, just a short train ride from Amsterdam and Utrecht.

    UvA: The University of Amsterdam is the Netherlands' largest university, offering the widest range of academic programmes. At the UvA, 30,000 students, 6,000 staff members and 3,000 PhD candidates study and work in a diverse range of fields, connected by a culture of curiosity. The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 8,000, as well as 1,800 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain. The mission of the Informatics Institute (IvI) is to perform curiosity-driven and use-inspired fundamental research in Computer Science. The main research themes are Artificial Intelligence, Computational Science and Systems and Network Engineering. Our research involves complex information systems at large, with a focus on collaborative, data driven, computational and intelligent systems, all with a strong interactive component.

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    Additional information

    Applicants are asked to send in their application before 13th of February 2023. Depending on your current location, you may be invited for an interview via MS Teams or in person.

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