Research Associate in Security of ML-based Personal Assistants
Imperial College London Department of Computing
United Kingdom

Job summary

The Department of Computing at Imperial College London is a leading department of computer science, with a strong international presence in verification and artificial intelligence. We are seeking to hire an outstanding Research Assistant/Associate to join the Verification of Autonomous Systems (VAS) group, led by Prof. Alessio Lomuscio. The VAS group is a friendly, vibrant, multi-national team working on various aspects of safe Artificial...

Job listing information

  • Reference ENG01604
  • Date posted 8 March 2021
  • Closing date 11 April 2021

Key information about the role

  • Location South Kensington Campus (map)
  • Position type Full time, fixed term
  • Salary £40,858 – £48,340 plus benefits
  • Department Department of Computing
  • Category Researcher / Non Clinical Researcher

Job description

Job summary

The Department of Computing at Imperial College London is a leading department of computer science, with a strong international presence in verification and artificial intelligence.

We are seeking to hire an outstanding Research Assistant/Associate to join the Verification of Autonomous Systems (VAS) group, led by Prof. Alessio Lomuscio. The VAS group is a friendly, vibrant, multi-national team working on various aspects of safe Artificial Intelligence, including verification and safety aspects of machine learning systems, autonomous systems, swarm-based systems, robustness and safe reinforcement learning. The group also contributes to US-funded projects on Assured Autonomy and has strong links with the UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Safe and Trusted Artificial Intelligence.

Duties and responsibilities

The successful candidate will join the UKRI-funded project “Secure AI Assistants”, jointly run by King’s College London and Imperial College London. The overarching aim of the project is to develop various methods to assess the security of personal AI assistants, including identifying unwanted aspects of the system so that they can be rectified.

The role will focus on specification and verification methods for AI assistants based on machine-learning. This will involve both the development of off-line verification methods, and methods for online monitoring when training happens at runtime during user interaction. Familiarity with existing methods for verification of neural networks, e.g., MILP-based methods, SAT-based methods, abstraction, and optimisation is highly desirable, but candidates demonstrating an ability and willingness to become familiar with these topics and able to contribute to them will also be considered. Working knowledge of neural networks, including recurrent networks such as LSTM and related ML methods would also be an advantage.

Essential requirements

    • Hold (or shortly expect to receive) a PhD degree in Computer Science or a related field *
    • Either a strong background in formal verification, SMT solving, optimisation, or security; or
    • A strong background in machine learning with particular emphasis to either verification or robustness
    • A good publication record in relevant conferences or journals.
    • Excellent oral and written communication skills as well as good social skills.

Further information

Please note this is a re-advertisement; previous applicants need not apply.

Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as Research Assistant within the salary range £36,045- £39,183 per annum.

Remote Work: Staff at Imperial College London, including research assistants, are following the present advice to work from home. All staff and students in the Verification of Autonomous Systems are presently working from home. In view of the present situation we expect this arrangement to continue at least for the next few months.

in addition to completing the online application candidate should attach.

  • A full CV
  • Up to 1 page statement explaining what interesting issues the candidate sees in the above post and the reasons why his or her expertise is relevant.

For informal queries candidates are welcome to contact Professor Alessio Lomuscio a.lomuscio@imperial.ac.uk. 

For queries regarding the application process contact Jamie Perrins: j.perrins@imperial.ac.uk

For technical issues when applying online please email support.jobs@imperial.ac.uk

Committed to equality and valuing diversity, we are an Athena SWAN Silver Award winner, a Stonewall Diversity Champion, a Disability Confident Employer and work in partnership with GIRES to promote respect for trans people.

The College is a proud signatory to the San-Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which means that in hiring and promotion decisions, we evaluate applicants on the quality of their work, not the journal impact factor where it is published. For more information, see https://www.imperial.ac.uk/research-and-innovation/about-imperial-research/research-evaluation/

The College believes that the use of animals in research is vital to improve human and animal health and welfare. Animals may only be used in research programmes where their use is shown to be necessary for developing new treatments and making medical advances. Imperial is committed to ensuring that, in cases where this research is deemed essential, all animals in the College’s care are treated with full respect, and that all staff involved with this work show due consideration at every level. http://www.imperial.ac.uk/research-and-innovation/about-imperial-research/research-integrity/animal-research


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