Doctoral Student in Real-Time Humanoid AI, Lionhead Studios and The University of Bath

We are looking for an AI researcher and programmer of exceptional promise to complete a four-year doctoral degree.  The dissertation would be supervised by Dr. Joanna Bryson of the University of Bath, but three of the four years would be conducted largely on site at Lionhead Studios in Guildford. 

The target of the research is to use the rich set of input sensory data such as that available from Microsoft’s Natal system to create a humanoid game character that will enhance the human computer interaction experience. The research should make use of multiple concurrent sensory inputs including depth, skeletal position or user pose, optical and audio with a speech recognition engine. These inputs may be used as part of communication exchanges, emotional empathy, and possibly physical interactions of some kind such that under a restricted set of circumstances it would appear that the Turing test had been passed between the character on the computer and the human subject.  Systems AI engineering will be emphasised,  as we aim to develop not only impressive demonstrations, but reusable components for human-like AI systems. The programming environment for Natal requires strong C++ skills. Knowledge of programming for virtual environments including the use but not development of animation and rendering engines would be a distinct advantage. Knowledge of lua would also be an advantage.

The doctoral position is funded through the Centre For Digital Entertainment, an EPSRC-funded joint initiative of Bath & Bournemouth, with additional support from Lionhead.  The degree includes a taught component, with courses negotiated between the candidate, the university & Lionhead. 

Candidates are asked to make an application through the the Centre's ordinary procedure (, however please emphasise experience in artificial intelligence (e.g. real-time perception & action selection, machine learning, affective / interactive humanoid intelligence) rather than focussing exclusively on animation.  Also, be certain to mention the specific project.  The CDE positions are fully funded for UK & EU citizens who have been resident in the UK for at least three years, and partially-funded for EU citizens who are not resident.  Other international applicants are welcome, but must provide their own funding.

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