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ISCApad Archive  »  2020  »  ISCApad #267  »  Jobs  »  (2020-04-28) 1 year post-doc/engineer position at LIA, Avignon France

ISCApad #267

Thursday, September 10, 2020 by Chris Wellekens

6-14 (2020-04-28) 1 year post-doc/engineer position at LIA, Avignon France

*1 year post-doc/engineer position at LIA, Avignon France, in the Vocal
Interaction Group*
        Multimodal man-robot interface for social spaces

keywords: AI, ML, DNN, RL, NLP, dialogue (vision, robotics)

Starting job date (desired): Sept. 2020.
## Work description

###Project Summary

Automation and optimisation of *verbal interactions of a
socially-competent robot*, guided by its *multimodal perceptions*

Facing a steady increase in the ageing population and the prevalence of
chronic diseases, social robots are promising tools to include in the
healthcare system. Yet extant assistive robots are not well suited to
such context as their communication abilities cannot handle social
spaces (several meters and group of persons) but rather face-to-face
individual interactions in quiet environments. In order to overcome
these limitations and eventually aiming at natural man-robot
interaction, the objectives of the work will be multifold.

First and foremost we intend to leverage the rich information available
with audio and visual flows of data coming from humans to extract verbal
and non-verbal features. These features will be used to enhance the
robot's decision-making ability such that it can smoothly take speech
turns and switch from interaction with a group of people to face-to-face
dialogue, and back. Secondly online and continual learning of the
advanced system will be investigated.

Outcomes of the project will be implemented onto a commercially
available social robot (most likely Pepper or ARI) and validated with several in-situ use
cases. A large-scale data collection will complement in-situ tests to fuel further
researches. To address our overall objectives the candidates should have a good command
of deep learning techniques and tools (including reinforcement/imitation learning) and
any combination of competencies in NLP / dialogue systems, vision and robotics.

### Requirements

- Master or PhD in Computer Science, Machine Learning, Computational
  Linguistics, Mathematics, Engineering or related fields
- Expertise in NLP / Dialog systems. Strong knowledge of current NLP /
  Interactive / Speech techniques is expected. Previous experience with
  dialogue and interaction and/or vision data is a strong plus. Knowledge in vision
and/or robotics are plusses.
? Strong programming skills, Python/C++ programmer of DNN models
  (preferably with pytorch)
- Expertise in Unix environments
- Good spoken and written command of English is required. *French is
- Good writing skills. For post-doc publications at top venues
  (e.g., ACL, EMNLP, SigDial, NeurIPS, ICLR etc) are expected.

## Place

Bordered by the left bank of the Rhône Avignon is one of the most
beautiful city in Provence, for some time capital of Christendom in the
Middle Ages. Its past gives the
city its unique atmosphere: dozens of churches and chapels, the ?Palais
des Papes? (palace of the popes, the most important gothic palace in
Europe), the Saint-Benezet brigde (aka the « pont d?Avignon » of
worldwide fame through its commemoration by the song), and the ramparts
that still encircle the entire city, ten museums from then ancient times
to contemporary art.

Of the nearly 100k inhabitants of the city, about 10 live in the ancient
town centre surrounded by its medieval ramparts. Avignon is not only the
birthplace of the most prestigious festival of contemporary theatre,
European Capital of Culture in 2000, but also the largest city and
capital of the département of Vaucluse. The region offers a high quality
urban life at a reasonable cost. Additionally,
the region of Avignon offers the opportunity to visit numerous
monuments and natural beauty sites easily accessible in a very short
time (Marseille, Aix, Montpellier, Nice...). Avignon is the ideal destination for
discovering Provence.

LIA is the computer science lab of Avignon University:

## Conditions

Net monthly salary: 1800-2200 ? (depending on the candidate's
experience).  Basic healthcare coverage included

Possibility of part-time and/or teleworking.

The position carries no direct teaching load, but if desired, teaching
BSc or MSc level courses is a possibility (paid extra hours), as is
supervision of student dissertation projects.

Initial employment is 12 months, extension possible. For engineers,
shift to a PhD position is possible.

## Applications

To apply, send the following documents *in a single PDF* to

* Statement of research interests that motivates your application
* CV, including the list of publications if any
* Scans of transcripts and academic degree certificates
* MSc/PhD dissertation and/or any other writing samples
* Coding samples or links to your contributions to public code
  repositories, if any
* Names, affiliations, and contact details of up to three people who can
  provide reference letters for you, if any

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