Associate Research Scientist in Natural Language Processing, UKP Lab Darmstadt

Associate Research Scientist “Secure and Robust NLP”

The UKP Lab of the Department of Computer Science, Technische Universität (TU) Darmstadt, Germany has an opening for an

Associate Research Scientist “Secure and Robust NLP” (PostDoc- or PhD-level; for an initial term until the end of 2021)

as part of the National Research Center for Applied Cybersecurity ATHENE [1]. We are part of the research mission “SenPAI-Security and Privacy in AI”. While AI becomes more common as a tool for various security applications where data must be analysed, clustered or attributed, the security of the applied AI algorithms is often limited. Various research results in the past years show shortcomings of trained neural nets (NN) like the lack of robustness against targeted attacks. The focus of our contribution to SenPAI is in (i) An automatic penetration testing system for NLP: A modular toolkit with common strategies to attack NLP models. This toolkit allows the wide-spread evaluation of state-of-the-art and in-production NLP systems; and (ii) Robust training objectives for NLP systems: State-of-the-art learning systems are equipped with the automatic attack toolkit in order to generate more robust NLP models. The goal is to have NLP models which are robust against new, unseen attacks and which require a higher effort to bypass them.

For this project, we are looking to hire a PostDoc or a PhD student with both a strong background in Natural Language Processing and a strong interest to contribute to applied security. We plan to cooperate with Fraunhofer SIT in Darmstadt and several other machine learning labs involved in SenPAI. The UKP Lab is a high-profile research group comprising over thirty team members who work on various aspects of data-driven NLP and machine learning. Their novel applications in various domains extend to mining scientific literature or social media, security and AI for Social Good in general.

We ask for applications from candidates in Computer Science with a specialization in Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing or Text Mining and strong interest in secure and robust NLP. Prior experience with neural network architectures, security-related applications and other relevant areas of NLP and Machine Learning is a plus. Demonstrable engagement in open source projects, strong programming skills and communication skills in English are highly appreciated.

UKP Lab (cf. https://www.informatik.tu-darmstadt.de) provides a highly agile, diverse and supportive research environment.The lab has a wide cooperation network with both leading academic and industrial professionals in NLP and Machine Learning. The Department of Computer Science of the TU Darmstadt is regularly ranked among the top ones in respective rankings of the German universities. Its unique profile around AI (cf. https://www.ai-da.tu-darmstadt.de) and information processing (cf. https://www.informatik.tu-darmstadt.de/aiphes) emphasizes NLP, machine learning, and and their great potential for the industry and society at large. UKP Lab is committed to cutting-edge research, publishing in top-tier venues, cooperative work style and close interaction of all team members. The selected candidates enjoy numerous opportunities for professional growth, leading to successful faculty careers or exciting industrial employments.

To apply, please provide a detailed CV, a motivation letter and an outline of previous work or research experience along with the names of up to three referees (if available). Applications from women are particularly encouraged. All other things being equal, candidates with disabilities will be given preference. Please submit your application via the following form by February 10th, 2020: https://public.ukp.informatik.tu-darmstadt.de/ukprecruitment. Applications arriving after the deadline will still be considered until the position is filled.

[1] https://www.athene-center.de/en/