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ISCApad Archive  »  2014  »  ISCApad #194  »  Jobs  »  (2014-03-31) POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP in speech communication with robots for people with Alzheimer’s disease

ISCApad #194

Monday, August 04, 2014 by Chris Wellekens

6-16 (2014-03-31) POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP in speech communication with robots for people with Alzheimer’s disease

--== POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP in speech communication with robots for people with Alzheimer’s disease ==--


Employer: Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and the University of Toronto

Title: PostDoc

Specialty: Machine learning, natural language processing, human-computer interaction

Location: Toronto Ontario Canada

Deadline: Until filled

Date Posted: 31 March, 2014


We are seeking a skilled postdoctoral fellow (PDF) whose expertise intersects automatic speech recognition (ASR) and human-computer interaction (HCI). The PDF will work with a team of internationally recognized researchers on software for two-way speech-based dialogue between individuals with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and robot ‘caregivers’. This software will automatically adapt the vocabularies, language models, and acoustic models of the component ASR to data collected from individuals with AD. The type of speech produced by the robot in response to human activity is vital, and several statistical models of dialogue will be pursued, including partially-observable Markov decision processes.


Work will involve software development, data analysis, dissemination of results (e.g., papers and conferences), and partial supervision of graduate and undergraduate students. Some data collection may be involved. Although primarily a technological intervention, this work is highly multidisciplinary, with a strong connection to the field of speech-language pathology and clinical practice.


The successful applicant will have:

1)      A doctoral degree in a relevant field of computer science, electrical engineering, biomedical engineering, or a relevant discipline;

2)      Evidence of impact in research through a strong publication record in relevant venues;

3)      Evidence of strong collaborative skills, including possible supervision of junior researchers, students, or equivalent industrial experience;

4)      Excellent interpersonal, written, and oral communication skills;

5)      A strong technical background in machine learning, natural language processing, and human-computer interaction. Experience with clinical populations, especially those with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, is preferred.

This work will be conducted at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and at the University of Toronto. Toronto Rehab has a diverse workforce and is an equal opportunity employer. Work can commence as soon as June 2014. The initial contract is for 1 year although extension is possible; the project itself will last 3 years.


Please contact Dr. Frank Rudzicz by email at with any questions or with 1) your up-to-date CV, 2) a cover letter, 3) a short 1-page statement of purpose if interested in applying to the position.


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