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PhD Studentship (3 years) Ethics-aware Cognitive Architectures for Ambient Intelligence

   College of Engineering and Physical Sciences

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  Dr L Manso  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Applications are invited for a three year Postgraduate studentship, supported by the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences and EPSRC DTP, to be undertaken within the ARVIS Research Group at Aston University. 

The position is available to start in October 2021.

Background to the Project

The upcoming Society 5.0 is a new paradigm where humans and AI actors cooperate in activities of daily living. This will take place within ambient intelligence environments populated with a variety of sensors, actuators (e.g., voice, temperature and light control), and assistive robots. This cooperation will improve quality of life, particularly for the elderly and people with disabilities or life-limiting conditions.


There are however new and evolving challenges that have to be overcome. Climate change forces us to maximise energy efficiency. Privacy issues are increasingly relevant (e.g., data leakages, private data handed off to third parties) and must be considered. Cultural and populational diversity also need to be accounted for to prevent systemic biases in AI systems. These and other societal, cultural and economic issues are more relevant than ever and need to be considered in the systems that will run future technologies.


The selected candidate will study ambient intelligent systems, focusing on the artificial intelligence models and the cognitive architectures required to provide the services that we aim for. This will be done while accounting for the aforementioned economic and societal issues. Edge computing will be leveraged for privacy and energy efficiency purposes. Data curation and model auditing will be carefully studied and implemented to prevent systemic biases.


The student will deliver a cognitive architecture encompassing a series of state-of-the-art subsystems for perception, planning, user profiling and actuation, as well as a number of technology demonstrators to showcase the benefits of ethical ambient intelligence and the positive impact that it could have on our future society.

Person Specification

The successful applicant should have been awarded, or expect to achieve, a Masters degree in a relevant subject with a 60% or higher weighted average, and/or a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree (or an equivalent qualification from an overseas institution) in Computer Science, Electronic Engineering, Mathematics, Physics or similar. Preferred skill requirements include knowledge/experience of programming, deep learning and mathematics.


Contact information


For formal enquiries about this project contact Dr Luis Manso by email at [Email Address Removed].


Submitting an application

Details of how to submit your application, and the necessary supporting documents can be found here


The application must be accompanied by a “research proposal” statement. An original proposal is not required as the initial scope of the project has been defined, candidates should take this opportunity to detail how their knowledge and experience will benefit the project and should also be accompanied by a brief review of relevant research literature.


Please include the supervisor name, project title, and project reference in your application.


If you require further information about the application process please contact the Postgraduate Admissions team at [Email Address Removed]


Funding Notes

This studentship includes a fee bursary to cover the Home fees rate, plus a maintenance allowance of £15,609 (subject to eligibility). This application is only available to Home students.
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