Project in Philosophy and Physics on AI in basic research

Job type: 

Application deadline: 

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Three PhD Positions in Interdisciplinary Project in Philosophy and Physics (f/m/d; part-time 65%, E 13 TV-L or comparable)

The start date is December 1st, 2020, or by agreement. Three positions are available for four years each. Two positions (PhD1, PhD3) will be filled at the University of Konstanz and one (PhD2) at the University of Innsbruck.

The project “The future of creativity in basic research: Can artificial agents be authors of scientific discoveries?“, funded by the VolkswagenStiftung programme “Off the Beaten Track“, studies the role that current and emerging technologies of Artificial Intelligence (AI) can play in basic research, focusing on agency, creativity, and authorship. The project is led by Prof. Thomas Müller at the Department of Philosophy, University of Konstanz, and by Prof. Hans J. Briegel at the Institute of Theoretical Physics, University of Innsbruck. The project connects methods and techniques from philosophy, physics, and AI in an integrated interdisciplinary approach to study the transformative role of new technologies in basic research. See the press release for details:

There are three work packages corresponding to the three PhD positions, two centered on philosophy and based at Konstanz and one centered more on applications in physics and based at Innsbruck: PhD1 (KN): The meaning of experiment in AI-driven research; PhD 2 (IBK): Implementation and case studies; PhD 3 (KN): Agency and attributability of automated research. Each work package will approach our topic from a different perspective: philosophy of science, actual science, and action theory. Methods will vary accordingly, but formal modeling will be used throughout. This includes, to varying degrees, the use of (multi-)agent simulations and the implementation and refinement of machine learning algorithms.

Required background:
• A completed university degree in a relevant field (philosophy, physics, or computer science / AI)
• Real research experience will be of advantage
• Strong communication skills
• Fluency in English
• An interest in interdisciplinary research

Application deadline: 9 August 2020
More details and link to the online application: