PhD in Compassionate AI

Eindhoven University of Technology


January 20, 2022


PhD in Compassionate AI




Industrial Design



Date off


Reference number


Job description

The PhD research is on how dyadic interactions between humans and artificial agents, e.g., chatbots, can promote compassion. The project thus investigates: 1) relations of care , such as care-related roles that agents can take on, e.g., caring for people who have dementia and their caregivers; 2) conversational AI , i.e., designing targeted conversations for compassion training in a scalable manner; 3) empirical evaluations on the ethics of human-agent interactions that span qualitative and quantitative methods. The end goal is to observe and critique the role of conversational agents in demonstrating if and how artificial intelligence can nurture compassion.

The project's technical, practical, and theoretical contributions will be harmonized by utilizing conversational AI to address real-life challenges of dementia care while being theoretically grounded on compassion as a concept and practice. The project enables the exploitation of its research findings by developing a working conversational agent as a prototype, providing relevant guidance for practitioners, and formulating recommendations for policy makers. To pursue above research initiatives, the project will align with various organizations, namely the Expertise Center Dementia & Technology (ECDT) in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, and their partner care organizations, as well as Boost.AI, a conversational AI company in Stavanger, Norway.

Job requirements

The department of industrial design of the TU/e is looking to hire a candidate with expertise in conversational user interfaces with a strong motivation to work in the domain of dementia care. The candidate should have (and will develop further in this project) strong professional and communication skills in order to work together with partners in a multi-national and multi- disciplinary research team. The following lists additional requirements.

The candidate has:

  • a high degree of emotional intelligence,
  • experience working in multidisciplinary teams,
  • completed a Master's in Computer Science, Human-Computer Interaction, Design, AI, NLP, or has a mixed educational background,
  • experience with developing conversational agents through Dialogflow, Rasa, Boost.AI, or other platforms,
  • experience or keen interests in applied ethics and morality,
  • the potential to publish academically or a track record of publications in related research areas,
  • excellent communication skills, including a fluent command of English, and
  • fluency of the Dutch language, or willingness to become fluent, will be valued in conducting research.
  • Conditions of employment
  • A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university with the possibility to present your work at international conferences.
  • A full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months.
  • To develop your teaching skills, you will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • To support you during your PhD and to prepare you for the rest of your career, you will make a Training and Supervision plan and you will have free access to a personal development program for PhD students (PROOF program).
  • A gross monthly salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • Additionally, an annual holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, plus a year-end allowance of 8.3% of the annual salary.
  • Should you come from abroad and comply with certain conditions, you can make use of the so-called ‘30% facility', which permits you not to pay tax on 30% of your salary.
  • A broad package of fringe benefits, including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes.
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.
  • Information and application


    About TU/e, Industrial Design and Future Everyday

    You will be situated in the Future Everyday cluster, which investigates the everyday interactions between individual people and the highly interconnected technology that surrounds them. We measure, model, and design for the user experience when individuals interact with social-technological networks in their homes, at work, in transit, while doing sport, or going out.

    TU/e is a leading international university specializing in Engineering Science & Technology. With high-quality education and research, TU/e ensures the progress of technical sciences and the development of technological innovations. TU/e is located in a highly industrialized region in the Netherlands, known as the ‘Brainport'. This region is internationally recognized as a top technology area with a special focus on the integration of design and technology. The department of Industrial Design at TU/e is internationally recognized for its scientific research on the design of systems with emerging technologies in a societal context. We excel at the acquisition and execution of projects where “integration of emerging technology into everyday life” and “application of technology in a societal context” play a major role. The Future Everyday research group investigates the everyday interactions between people and the highly interconnected technology that surrounds them.

    General information about TU/e and the Industrial Design Department, candidates can be found here.


    Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more about this project and position candidates? Please contact Minha Lee (

    For information about terms of employment, click here or contact HR Services Industrial Design,

    Please visit www. to find out more about working at TU/e!


    We invite you to submit a complete application by using the 'apply now'-button on this page.

    Candidates are kindly asked to submit their application (a cover letter explaining your motivation and specific interests in this project, an extensive curriculum vitae, academic transcripts and any other supporting documents (e.g. publications, awards)) before 20 January 2022.

    Please note that a maximum of 5 documents of 2 MB each can be uploaded. If you have more than 5 documents you will have to combine them.

    Applications sent by e-mail will not be accepted.

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