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Message posted on 30/03/2020

PhD position: How can AI support human moral judgements?

PhD position: How can AI support human moral judgements?
Application deadline: 22 April 2020
Job description
Many current AI systems are implicitly supporting or constraining human moral
judgment, e.g. information on Facebook, recommendation systems, targeted
advertising. The goal of this project is to make this support (or constraint)
explicit as a step towards empowering better human moral judgments. Our
working assumption is that AI should support but not take over human moral
judgement and decisions. To determine the desirable role of AI support, we
should first of all better understand human moral judgement, and particularly
the importance of context in it. Two case studies will be carried out on how
AI may support moral human judgement in the context of changing values. On the
basis of these, desirable (and undesirable) forms of AI support will be
identified, and insights will be translated into a number of design principles
for AI support for human moral judgement.
This position is part of the research program Hybrid Intelligence
Hybrid Intelligence
Why build AI systems that replace people if we can build AI systems that
collaborate with people? Hybrid Intelligence is the combination of human and
machine intelligence, expanding human intellect instead of replacing it. Our
goal is to design Hybrid Intelligent systems, an approach to Artificial
Intelligence that puts humans at the centre, changing the course of the
ongoing AI revolution. The project will be recruiting 27 PhD or postdoc
positions in total. For more information on the project see
We seek an energetic PhD candidate, to carry out this research project at the
forefront of the interdisciplinary combination of ethics and artificial
intelligence. The candidate has a master's degree, or equivalent, in ethics
and/or philosophy. During the project you are expected to write the research
articles that together will form the basis of a thesis to attain a PhD degree
(dr.) at Delft University. Candidates will participate in the education and
supervision program of the Delft Graduate School as well as in the Hybrid
Intelligence project graduate school. Teaching duties of max 10% of the time
are foreseen.
Conditions of employment
Fixed-term contract: 4 years.
The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health
insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution.
Flexible work schedules can be arranged. Coming to Delft Service organizes
diverse events for new international employees and their accompanying
partners, like Partner Career Workshops and Dutch Culture Workshops. Located
on campus are the International Children's Centre and an international primary
school which are subject to availability as well as several bilingual schools
in the nearby surrounding. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the
Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.
As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU
Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent
team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education
Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and
research skills. Please visit
for more information.
Technische Universiteit Delft
Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) is a multifaceted institution
offering education and carrying out research in the technical sciences at an
internationally recognised level. Education, research and design are strongly
oriented towards applicability. TU Delft develops technologies for future
generations, focusing on sustainability, safety and economic vitality. At TU
Delft you will work in an environment where technical sciences and society
converge. TU Delft comprises eight faculties, unique laboratories, research
institutes and schools.
Faculty Technology, Policy and Management
The Faculty of Technology, Policy and
Management contributes to sustainable
solutions for technical challenges in society by combining the insights from
engineering with the humanities and the social sciences.
The Department of Values, Technology and Innovation (VTI) focuses on the value
dimension of comprehensive engineering, the overarching research theme of the
Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management (TPM). It uniquely comprises
philosophers, economists and risk scholars. It studies how to develop and
diffuse responsible technological innovations that reflect deeply held social
and moral values. The department is one of the largest groups in the world
studying value aspects, economics and risks for a wide range of sociotechnical
systems. The department plays a leading role nationally and internationally in
research in responsible innovation and design for values.
The Ethics and Philosophy of Technology section is one of three sections
within the VTI Department. The section plays a central role worldwide in
research on ethics and philosophy of technology. The section participates in
the 4TU.Centre for Ethics and Technology, a world-leading centre in the ethics
of technology. The research of the section covers a broad spectrum, ranging
from applied research in collaboration with engineering scholars, experimental
and empirical ethics in collaboration with social scientists, and foundational
research in meta-ethics, risk theory, methodology, ontology and philosophy of
science, technology and design. The ethics research program focuses
specifically on design for values, risk ethics, and responsible innovation.
The Ethics and Philosophy of Technology section provides for service teaching
at all engineering programs of TU Delft, primarily in ethics but also in
philosophy of engineering methodology and philosophy of science. For more
information on our unique teaching approach, see:
Additional information
For information about this vacancy, you can contact Ibo van de
Poel, Professor in Ethics and Technology, email:, tel: +31 (0)15 27
To apply, please send by e-mail an application letter, a curriculum vitae, a
writing sample (e.g. master thesis) and the names of two references by April
22, 2020, to Ms. Van Vianen,, mentioning vacancy
number ATTBM 20.026.
If you want to be considered for one of our other PhD positions, then also
upload your documents to our Hybrid Intelligence talent pool at
Your information will then be shared among the researchers in the consortium,
and you may be approached for one of the other positions listed on
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