The Centre has just released two vacancies in the AI/NLP subfield of argument mining: one for a PhD studentship and the other for a four-year senior postdoctoral appointment.
We are looking for a talented postdoctoral researcher to join a project exploring the role of argument mining in understanding and supporting public engagement with political processes. This 48-month position is at Grade 8 (£42k-£50k).
We are also looking to hire a PhD student with an interest in natural language processing, with a Masters or a good Bachelors in an appropriate subject to work on argument mining in financial discourse. The studentship is for 48 months and covers UKRI stipend (£16k tax-free) and fees at UK student rates only (candidates who do not qualify for UK student fees will be liable for the difference).
More information for the postdoc can be found at arg.tech/SSEN0407 and for the studentship at arg.tech/PHD202201 or by emailing the director, Prof. Chris Reed, email@example.com. Deadline for applications 4 March 2022.
We’re delighted to welcome Ray Becker who joins us as a Research Software Engineer. Ray comes to ARG-tech with a background in various types of statistical analysis of climate conditions and water management systems, and in machine learning algorithms for sentiment analysis. He has also worked on co-speech gestures, language comprehension, and event structure at universities in the US, Canada, and Germany, and joins us now to work on Argument Web infrastructure.
We’ve been working with Pindex on a new video that explains the context and motivation for a lot of work in argument technology. Stephen Fry narrates, opening with a discussion of some of the big societal challenges including conspiracy theories and fake news. The video then explores the role argument technology could play in tackling these challenges, covering foundational research in areas such as argument mining, plus some signal successes such as IBM’s Project Debater, and the vision of the Argument Web including practical applications such as Reason Checking.
Many congratulations to Debela Gemechu who successfully passed his PhD viva today subject to minor corrections. His thesis, Argument Mining: Representation, contextualization and structuring was examined by Prof. Dr. Iryna Gurevych from UKP at Darmstadt and Prof. Stephen McKenna at Dundee. Debela is continuing to work with us as Industrial Fellow in Residence.
This week we welcome Kamila Gorska and Alex Marcoci to the group. Kamila joins us to study for a PhD in automated argument processing. Alex joins as a postdoc working on Trajectories of Conflict in the context of debate at the UN Security Council.
Hot on the heels of the recent announcement that we’ve secured AHRC-DFG funding to work with the UN Security Council tracking ‘Trajectories of Conflict’ we’ve just learnt that our four year programme to work on models of deliberation has been funded by Volkswagen Stiftung. In the 4-year, €1.5m project, we will work with our partners, Valentin Gold at Göttingen, Annette Hautli-Janisz at Konstanz, Katarzyna Budzynska at Warsaw Politechnika, and John Parkinson at Maastricht to develop a “Deliberation Laboratory” that allows us to explore new interventions in deliberative democracy settings.
We’ve just heard that we’ve won funding under the extremely competitive AHRC-DFG Anglo-German bilateral programme in the Arts & Humanities in collaboration with Manfred Stede‘s team at Potsdam University. We’re going to be spending the next three years working with the UN and in particular looking at how conflicts evolve in the Security Council. The goal is to improve our understanding of how language reflects trajectories of conflict, and use that understanding both to deliver insight to geopolitical analysts and to make the workings of the UNSC more accessible to the general public.
Our work with the BBC over 2018-2019 focused on helping school pupils to identify fake news by putting news articles under a critical thinking microscope. The Evidence Toolkit was rolled out to over 3,000 schools and was the first publicly deployed application to rely upon argument mining. Our work is described in an article just out in this month’s Communications of the ACM.
Many congratulations to John Lawrence, who has successfully defended his PhD thesis on Explainable Argument Mining. He was examined by Prof. Manfred Stede from Potsdam University, Prof. Rob Gaizauskas from The University of Sheffield, and Prof. Manuel Trucco from Dundee. John is staying in the group as a permanent lecturer.