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PhD Position in Human-In-the-Loop AI

Know What Your Machine Doesn't Know: A Critical Step Towards Reliable and Trustworthy AI

3 maanden geleden


Mekelweg, Delft, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 40 uur
€ 2434 - € 3111 per maand


Despite their impressive performance, machine learning systems remain largely unreliable in safety-, trust- and ethically sensitive domains. Recent discussions in several sub-fields of AI have reached the consensus of knowledge need in machines; few discussions, however, have touched upon the diagnosis of what knowledge is needed.

The aim of this PhD project is to develop human-in-the-loop methods and tools for the diagnosis of machine unknowns, a critical step towards reliable and trustworthy AI. We consider humans to be an indispensable means to understanding the knowns and unknowns of intelligent machines, through human interpretation of machine behavior and human creation of knowledge requirements. We also consider computational algorithms as a vital tool to assist humans in knowledge reasoning at scale, under uncertainty. The PhD candidate will, therefore, conduct both empirical and theoretical research, with primary activities characterized by the design, implementation, and analysis of human studies, computational algorithms, and human-in-the-loop systems.

Knowing machine unknowns is essential for both making AI –debugging the machine– and using AI –deciding when to trust the machine output– in any context. We envision the project to have both a tremendous scientific and practical impact, across all areas where AI and machine learning are applied.

The position is offered within the Web Information Systems (WIS) group at TU Delft. The WIS group concentrates its research on engineering and science of the Web, considering specifically the role of human-generated data in the engineering of Web-based information systems. The WIS group is an internationally leading research group with researchers and students advancing the state of the art in the following disciplines: large-scale data processing, information and knowledge extraction, information retrieval, human computation and crowdsourcing, human-computer interaction, and user modeling.


The successful PhD candidate should:

  1. Have an MSc in Computer Science, or a closely related field;
  2. Have demonstrated competencies in one or more of these domains: Crowd Computing, Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, Data Science, Human Computer Interaction;
  3. Have strong interest and/or experience conducting empirical and theoretical research;
  4. Be self-motivated and enjoy research;
  5. Be a team player;
  6. 6. Have good communication skills in Engligh.


TU Delft offers PhD-candidates a 4-year contract, with an official go/no go progress assessment after one year. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2434 per month in the first year to € 3111 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.

Additional information

For information about this vacancy and the selection procedure, please contact Dr. Jie Yang, Assistant Professor, email: J.Yang-3@tudelft.nl, with the subject [MachineUnknown].