Postdoc CASMI

University of Amsterdam
January 22, 2023
Offerd Salary:€2,960
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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Postdoc CASMI

Faculty/Services: Amsterdam Law School

Educational level: University

Function type: Academic Staff

Closing date: 22.01.2023

Vacancy number: 10983

Do you want to help develop a vision on the future use of AI in the media and justice? Join our project on developing sci-fi prototyping methods and forward-looking responsibility!

The Institute for Information Law, University of Amsterdam is looking for a researcher for the project, “Anticipating AI Impact in a Diverse Society: Developing a scenario-based, diversity-sensitive method to evaluate the societal impact of AI-systems and regulations.”

This is a joint project between Northwestern University and the Institute for Information Law. Northwestern University is a top-ranked research institution based just outside Chicago, IL, US. The Institute for Information Law is one of the largest research facilities in information law world-wide. The Institute brings together more than 40 researchers from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds. The researcher will be embedded in the Institute and affiliated with the AI, Media & Democracy Lab – and ELSA lab with the objective to explore the ethical, legal and societal implications of AI technologies for society and democracy. There will be the opportunity of extended research stay at Northwestern University in the Computational Journalism Lab, led by Co-PI Nick Diakopoulos.

What are you going to do

Anticipating the impacts of new AI technology in society is at the crux of efforts to understand, advance, and govern the safety of AI. Anticipating impact is fundamentally difficult: how a technology evolves and intersects with human intentions and social dynamics as it is deployed will always be frustrated by various sources of uncertainty as well a range of technical, social, economic, and regulatory conditions. The goal of this project is to develop and use sci-fi prototyping as a method to anticipate the future societal, ethical, and legal implications of the use of AI-driven tools in two sectors: the media (e.g. synthetic media in newsrooms) and justice (e.g. predictive or biometric algorithms in policing).

Sci-fi prototyping is a method to foster discussion and reflect on future developments by writing well-grounded yet plausible scenarios. Our goal is to stimulate scenario writing with culturally and demographically diverse groups of participants, and use the insights from this exercise to identify possible future impacts and facilitate debate on what kind of future developments with AI society should steer towards to, including how to create the conditions for agency, control, and forward looking responsibility.

The project is funded by CASMI, the Center for Advancing Safety of Machine Intelligence based at Northwestern University. CASMI funds projects with the goal of establishing best practices for the evaluation, design, and development of machine intelligence that is safe, equitable, and beneficial.

You will/tasks:

  • Help develop the sci-fi prototyping method used for stimulating scenarios written by diverse participants, including leading workshops with participants
  • Conduct qualitative and quantitative research
  • Present the research at (international) conferences and in the form of publications
  • Contribute to the CASMI program, such as by attending relevant workshops
  • Engage in other activities of the AI, Media & Democracy Lab and the Institute for Information Law
  • What do we require

  • A PhD in information science or studies, human-computer interaction, communication studies, information law, STS, future studies or a related relevant field
  • Demonstrated interest in AI ethics and broader societal impact of AI technologies in domains of media and/or justice
  • Proven experience with qualitative and quantitative social science methods such as thematic analysis and survey design
  • Affinity for or experience with futures studies methods such as scenario- writing, scifi-prototyping, speculative fiction, and/or other related methods
  • Creative and solution-oriented thinking
  • Being able to work independently and as part of an interdisciplinary team
  • Excellent communication skills both written and oral
  • If the vacancy appeals to you, but you are doubting whether you might be THE person we are looking for, please do apply. We encourage all qualified applicants, including minorities, women, people with disabilities, and members of other groups underrepresented in academia to apply. We wish to create a consortium that consists of persons who each contribute in their unique way to the team. Complementarity and not homogeneity is what we are looking for.

    Your experience and profile:

  • summary of education;
  • desirable skills;
  • and knowledge;
  • and experience.
  • Our offer

    We offer a 0.8 FTE contract for the period of 2 years. Preferred starting date is 1 March 2023. Extending the position to a 1 FTE position with complementary teaching is an option that can be discussed.

    The gross monthly salary based on full-time employment (38 hours per week) ranges from €2,960 up to a maximum of €4,670 (salary scale 10). This is exclusive 8% holiday allowance and 8,3% end-of-year bonus. The starting salary will be based on qualifications, expertise and relevant experience. The profile Researcher 4 is applicable in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities.

    The UvA offers excellent possibilities for further professional development and education.

    What else do we offer

  • The opportunity to engage in cutting-edge research as part of an interdisciplinary consortium on pressing societal questions
  • Be part of a diverse team of engaged and enthusiastic researchers from a diversity of disciplines (law, computer science, communication science, ethics, economics, political science, humanities) and countries
  • The possibility for extended research stay at Northwestern University, US.
  • Mentoring and support in developing your future academic career
  • Ample opportunities to translate your research into impact for society.
  • About the faculty/service unite/department/institute

    Give a short description of the faculty/service unite/department/institute with a link to the page if possible.

    The Amsterdam Law School prides itself on its international orientation and strong social commitment. This is reflected by both its research and educational activities. The Amsterdam Law School offers three Bachelor's programs, including the interdisciplinary English-language Bachelor Politics, Psychology, Law and Economics (PPLE) in cooperation with two other faculties, as well as a variety of Master's programs, several of which are taught exclusively in English (i.e. International and European Law, European Private Law, International Criminal Law, and Law & Finance). The Amsterdam Law School prepares students for a wide variety of legal careers including law firms, government, business and industry, the national and international judiciary, public service, human rights advocacy, and academia. With 5000 students and over 500 staff members, it is one of the largest law faculties in the Netherlands.

    To work at the University of Amsterdam is to work in a discerning, independent, creative, innovative and international climate characterized by an open atmosphere and a genuine engagement with the city of Amsterdam and society. Here you can read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.


    Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact:

    Prof. Dr. Nicholas Diakopoulos, [email protected]

    Prof. Dr. Natali Helberger, [email protected]

    Job application

    The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

    Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application by 22 January 2023. You may apply online by using the link below.

    Applications in .pdf should include:

  • a curriculum vitae;
  • a letter of motivation describing your background and interests relative to the project
  • one or two exemplary writing samples of scholarly work that you have published
  • any other required information.
  • We will invite potential candidates for interviews within 2 weeks after the closing date.

    The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

    No agencies please.

    Apply now »

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