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Postdoctoral Researcher - AI Narratives and Justice Programme

Location: Cambridge, UK
Closing date: 28 February 2019

Role information

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 12 months in the first instance.

The Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence (CFI) at the University of Cambridge invites applications for a postdoctoral Research Associate to work on the project 'Flying Machines with Minds of their Own: Exploring Perceptions of Autonomous Flight', part of the AI: Narratives and Justice Programme and in collaboration with Boeing. Funding for this position is available for 1 year in the first instance. It is an exciting opportunity for a talented individual to make a major contribution to the development of this field.

CFI is a new, highly interdisciplinary research centre addressing the challenges and opportunities posed by AI. Funded by the Leverhulme Trust, CFI is based at the University of Cambridge, with partners in the University of Oxford, Imperial College, and UC Berkeley, and has close links with industry and policymakers.

This is a new post within CFI's AI: Narratives and Justice programme, led by Dr Sarah Dillon, which investigates the cultural contexts shaping how AI is perceived and developed, and the consequences for diversity, cognitive justice and social justice. Within that programme, the initial AI Narratives project examined perceptions of AI in general. These findings will now be developed in a focused case study in collaboration with Boeing, investigating societal perception of AI enabled flight through a combination of sociological and humanities methodologies.

AI technologies are increasingly enabling vehicles to drive, fly and sail without human intervention. In particular air travel, which has long pioneered automation, stands to benefit from the AI revolution. But the potential of these technologies will not be realised if people oppose them, whether as pilots, passengers or just pedestrians on the ground below. Both flying and automation are emotive topics, arousing powerful hopeful and fearful responses. Understanding how the public will react to the increasing convergence of the two requires careful exploration.

If you have any questions about this vacancy, please contact Susan Gowans at

Closing Date: Midnight (GMT) on 28 February 2019.

Interviews planned for March 2019.

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Please upload in the Upload section of the online application (1) your CV; (2) a Covering Letter of no more than 1,500 words, outlining a proposed research direction, and explaining how your skills and proposal would contribute to this project in particular, and CFI more broadly; and (3) a Sample of Writing of no more than 5,000 words that demonstrates your suitability for this project. If you upload any additional documents we will not be able to consider these as part of your application.

Please quote reference GO18027 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

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