Gabriel Skantze
Associate Professor in Speech Technology
Department of Speech Music and Hearing
School of Computer Science and Communication
KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Young Academy of Sweden


Post-doc or PhD student in Conversational systems and Social robotics at KTH

We are looking for a Post-doc or PhD student that will work on situated spoken interaction between humans and robots, under the supervision of Assoc. Prof. Gabriel Skantze. A central research question will be how social robots should adapt their conversational behavior to the users' level of attention, understanding and engagement. This means that the robot must be able to monitor gaze and feedback behaviour from the user, and then for example adjust the pace of information delivery, in real time. The work will involve implementation of components for conversational systems, collecting data and doing experiments with users interacting with the system, and using this data to build models of the users' behaviours.

As a platform, we are using the Furhat Robot head and the open source framework IrisTK, developed at KTH. In a newly funded project, which the applicant is expected to contribute to, we are also exploring the use of Augmented Reality (Microsoft HoloLens) to create avatars or virtual robots that can take part in situated interaction. As an initial test case, we are developing a virtual poster presenter that can monitor the users' level of interest and understanding and adapt the presentation accordingly. We will also explore how the physical appearance and constraints of the virtual robot affects the interaction.

Applicants should have a PhD degree (for a Post-doc) or a Master (for a PhD student) in a subject relevant for the research, such as computer science, speech technology, computational linguistics, or cognitive science. You are expected to have good skills in programming, and then either a specialization towards experimental methods and statistics, or towards machine learning. Good command of English, in writing and speaking, is a prerequisite for presenting research results in international periodicals and at conferences. We also expect applicants to have a deep interest in spoken language interaction between humans and between humans and machines.

The position is mainly a research position, with a small fraction of departmental duties (e.g. teaching). The postdoctoral position is a full-time employed position for one year with a possible one-year extension. The PhD position is a five year full-time employment.

The starting date is open for discussion, but not earlier than February 2018 for the PhD student position.

If you are interested, please contact Gabriel Skantze (