Location: Trinity College Dublin
Level: Research Engineer

Post Summary

Stochastic Natural Language Dialogue Processing

The Science Foundation Ireland ADAPT Research Centre (adaptcentre.ie ), seeks to appoint a Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) Research Assistant to support research in the areas of stochastic/neural network natural language (spoken) dialogue processing and personalisation for human computer interaction with an emphasis on social/informal dialogue in conversational relational agents/virtual companions.

The successful candidate will support research in the ADAPT Research Theme “Personalising the User Experience”, working towards creating dramatic improvements in how users engage with content by enriching the user experience, while alleviating current frustrations of cognitive overload when performing diverse actions on content. The work is motivated by the volume and veracity of information that end users are tasked with trying to make sense of on a daily basis. The theme is revolutionising how users discover, share and work with multimodal content as part of the global conversation by focusing on pertinent content/actions. There is a strong connection with the theme entitled “Interacting with Global Content” which overall seeks to empower people to interact with digital content in ways that are more intuitive and that mimic the richness of human perception in all interaction. The candidate should have mature experience in a relevant area of dialogue processing/natural language processing that complements the overall research goal. The candidate will also be responsible for supporting research in a number of areas including:

  • interactive (dialogic) information retrieval
  • user modeling

Thus, the ideal engineer will typically have specific expertise in machine learning/deep learning for dialogue/natural language processing, and be able to identify how they can contribute to wider research in (multimodal) dialogue systems. Reporting to a Principal Investigator, the successful candidate will work within a large group of Postdoctoral Researchers, PhD students and Software Developers. They will have exposure to all aspects of project lifecycle from requirements analysis to design, code, test and face-to-face demonstrations with potential industrial partners.

Informal enquiries about this post should be made to by e-mail to: Ms Monica Lechea, Office Manager (monica.lechea@adaptcentre.ie)

Standard Duties and Responsibilities of the Post

  • Implement ML algorithms for NLP from relevant literature and group research
  • Integrate research prototypes in application frameworks via tight integration (e.g. APIs) and loose integration (e.g. web services)
  • Create data processing pipelines for large data volume experiments
  • Create Virtual Machines/Containers and EC2 instances loaded with the necessary software and application dependencies
  • Work closely with researchers
  • Implement and develop unit tests of individual software components to ensure functionality and robustness of software applications
  • Ensure team members are kept up to date with the work that is done
  • Document all work to ensure code is easily understood by peers
  • Maintain and clean code bases
  • Raise Technology Readiness Level of research prototypes to prepare for experimental industrial application
  • Work with ADAPT industry partners to define requirements, troubleshoot issues and conduct demonstrations

Funding Information

The position is funded through the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) ADAPT Research Centre.

Person Specification

The successful candidate will have broad experience in every aspect of the application development lifecycle. We are looking for someone who codes in multiple languages fluently and takes pride in the quality of their work, someone who ensures their work - and that of their teammates - adheres to good standard practices and proven design patterns. The successful candidate is expected to

  • Have experience with natural language understanding/generation, dialog management, state tracking, semantic embedding, topic modeling, sentiment analysis, information retrieval and other NLP-related techniques
  • Have expert knowledge of Machine Learning
  • Understand all aspects of industrial standard software development including the management of EC2 instances and data repositories of different types
  • Have a thorough understanding of, and experience developing web-based applications
  • Have extensive experience with Code Repositories (git)
  • Be a strong team player

Qualifications

  • Candidates appointed to this role must have a primary degree or (ideally) a postgraduate qualification in Computer Science or a related discipline with courses in NLP, AI, ML, Deep Learning (desirable)
  • General experience in networking/web services/web dev/devops
  • The ideal candidate would have a minimum of three years academic work/industry experience

Knowledge & Experience (Essential & Desirable)

Essential

  • Expert knowledge of, and experience with, NLP and Machine Learning
  • Fluency in a deep learning platform (e.g. TensorFlow, PyTorch, MXnet)
  • Excellent knowledge of scripting languages: Python, Bash

Desirable

  • Knowledge of scripting languages: Perl, JavaScript, d3.js
  • Excellent knowledge of one or more of: Java, C/C++, node.js
  • Knowledge of mathematical/data analysis languages: Matlab/Octave, R
  • Experience working with UNIX, Linux, VMWare, OSX and Windows operating systems
  • Database management skills (SQL/No-SQL): MySQL, MongoDB, CouchDB, Neo4j, SQL
  • Experience with web crawling, data wrangling, data analysis
  • Good command of markup languages and data formats (e.g. XML, JSON)
  • Excellent Understanding of Unit and Regression Testing Frameworks
  • Knowledge of web application development and security
  • Expertise in containerisation, virtualisation, cloud platforms (e.g. EC2)
  • Expert command of Version Control Systems (e.g. git)

Skills & Competencies

  • Excellent written and oral proficiency in English. (essential)
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills both written and verbal.
  • Proven aptitude for Programming, System Analysis and Design.
  • Proven ability to prioritise workload and work to exacting deadlines.
  • Flexible and adaptable in responding to stakeholder needs.
  • Experience in releasing code to live production environments.
  • Enthusiastic and structured approach to research and development.
  • Excellent problem solving abilities.
  • Desire to learn about new products, technologies and keep abreast of new product, technical and research developments

Further Information for Applicant

ADAPT is Ireland’s global centre of excellence for digital content technology. Led by TCD, and hosted by the School of Computer Science & Statistics, it combines the expertise of researchers at four universities (Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University, University College Dublin, and Dublin Institute of Technology) with that of its industry partners to produce ground-breaking digital content innovations. ADAPT brings together more than 120 researchers who collectively have won more than €100min funding and have a strong track record of transferring world-leading research and innovations to more than 140 companies. With €50M in new research funding from Science Foundation Ireland and industry, ADAPT is seeking talented individuals to join its growing team. Our research and technologies will continue to help businesses in all sectors and drive back the frontiers of future Web engagement.

URL Link to ADAPT Centre: https://www.adaptcentre.ie/