PhD and Post-Doc positions

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PhD and Post-Doc positions

Saarland University
Country of Position: 
Contact Name: 
Dietrich Klakow
Subject Area: 
Speech and Language Processing
Start Date: 
September 05, 2018
Expiration Date: 
October 17, 2018
Position Description: 

PhD position and Post-doc position: Privacy-respecting dialog systems

(Computational Linguistics, Computer Science or similar)

Conversational interfaces based on deep learning are becoming more and more ubiquitous. However, the massive amounts of stored speech and text data that is needed for training state-of-the-art models raises serious privacy concerns for its users. Each spoken message may potentially reveal information about the user's personality, may contain critical information (credit card numbers, passwords, etc.), and may convey sensitive information (ethnicity, age,  health status, etc.). Voice recordings may even be malevolently used to build synthesized voiced to impersonate users.

The Spoken Language Systems group at Saarland University is seeking new ways to provide dialog technology that is "private by design" by means such as e.g. privacy-preserving machine learning. To this end, we are anticipating the availability of a PhD position and a Post-Doc position starting at the beginning of 2019.

Ideal candidates for either position would have:

  1. A good understanding of not just NLP, but of dialog phenomena in particular. Here, an understanding of how privacy-relevant information may arise as a result of dialog behavior (rather than as part of a single utterance) is desirable.
  2. Excellent knowledge of machine learning, experience with weakly-supervised methods a plus.
  3. Knowledge of and experience with scientific evaluation methodologies.
  4. Excellent programming skills, experience with RESTful APIs a plus.
  5. Experience with architecting large, heterogeneous, modular and distributed systems.
  6. Knowledge of the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Salaries: The PhD position will be 75% of full time on the German E13 scale (TV-L). The Post-Doc position will be 100% of the full time on the German E13 scale (TV-L). The appointments will be for three years with possible extensions subject to follow-up funding.

About the department: The department of Language Science and Technology is one of the leading departments in the speech and language area in Europe. The flagship project at the moment is the CRC on Information Density and Linguistic Encoding. Furthermore, the department is involved in the cluster of excellence Multimodal Computing and Interaction. It also runs a significant number of European and nationally funded projects. In total it has seven faculty and around 50 postdoctoral researchers and PhD students.

How to apply:

Please send us:

  • a letter of motivation
  • your CV
  • your transcripts
  • a list of publications
  • and the names and contact information of at least two references

as a single PDF or a link to a PDF if the file size is more than 3 MB.

Please apply by October 10th, 2018.

Contact: Applications and any further inquiries regarding the project should be directed to:

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