PhD position: How can AI support human moral judgements?

Many current AI systems are implicitly supporting or constraining human moral judgement, e.g. information on Facebook, recommendation systems, targeted advertising. The goal of this project is to make this support (or constraint) explicit as a step towards empowering better human moral judgements. Our working assumption is that AI should support but not take over human moral judgement and decisions. To determine the desirable role of AI support, we should first of all better understand human moral judgement, and particularly the importance of context in it. Two case studies will be carried out on how AI may support moral human judgement in the context of changing values. On the basis of these, desirable (and undesirable) forms of AI support will be identified, and insights will be translated into a number of design principles for AI support for human moral judgement.

This position is part of the research program Hybrid Intelligence

Hybrid Intelligence
Why build AI systems that replace people if we can build AI systems that collaborate with people? Hybrid Intelligence is the combination of human and machine intelligence, expanding human intellect instead of replacing it. Our goal is to design Hybrid Intelligent systems, an approach to Artificial Intelligence that puts humans at the centre, changing the course of the ongoing AI revolution. The project will be recruiting 27 PhD or postdoc positions in total. For more information on the project see


We seek an energetic PhD candidate, to carry out this research project at the forefront of the interdisciplinary combination of ethics and artificial intelligence. The candidate has a master’s degree, or equivalent, in ethics and/or philosophy. During the project you are expected to write the research articles that together will form the basis of a thesis to attain a PhD degree (dr.) at Delft University. Candidates will participate in the education and supervision program of the Delft Graduate School as well as in the Hybrid Intelligence project graduate school. Teaching duties of max 10% of the time are foreseen.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. Coming to Delft Service organises diverse events for new international employees and their accompanying partners, like Partner Career Workshops and Dutch Culture Workshops. Located on campus are the International Children’s Centre and an international primary school which are subject to availability as well as several bilingual schools in the nearby surrounding. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.
As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit for more information.


Technische Universiteit Delft

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) is a multifaceted institution offering education and carrying out research in the technical sciences at an internationally recognised level. Education, research and design are strongly oriented towards applicability. TU Delft develops technologies for future generations, focusing on sustainability, safety and economic vitality. At TU Delft you will work in an environment where technical sciences and society converge. TU Delft comprises eight faculties, unique laboratories, research institutes and schools.


Faculty Technology, Policy and Management

The Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management contributes to sustainable solutions for technical challenges in society by combining the insights from engineering with the humanities and the social sciences.

The Department of Values, Technology and Innovation (VTI) focuses on the value dimension of comprehensive engineering, the overarching research theme of the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management (TPM). It uniquely comprises philosophers, economists and risk scholars. It studies how to develop and diffuse responsible technological innovations that reflect deeply held social and moral values. The department is one of the largest groups in the world studying value aspects, economics and risks for a wide range of sociotechnical systems. The department plays a leading role nationally and internationally in research in responsible innovation and design for values.

The Ethics and Philosophy of Technology section is one of three sections within the VTI Department. The section plays a central role worldwide in research on ethics and philosophy of technology. The section participates in the 4TU.Centre for Ethics and Technology, a world-leading centre in the ethics of technology. The research of the section covers a broad spectrum, ranging from applied research in collaboration with engineering scholars, experimental and empirical ethics in collaboration with social scientists, and foundational research in meta-ethics, risk theory, methodology, ontology and philosophy of science, technology and design. The ethics research program focuses specifically on design for values, risk ethics, and responsible innovation.

The Ethics and Philosophy of Technology section provides for service teaching at all engineering programs of TU Delft, primarily in ethics but also in philosophy of engineering methodology and philosophy of science. For more information on our unique teaching approach, see:

Additional information

For information about this vacancy, you can contact Ibo van de Poel, Professor in Ethics and Technology, email: , tel: +31 (0)15 27 84716. Application deadline: 22 April 2020

To apply, please send by e-mail an application letter, a curriculum vitae, a writing sample (e.g. master thesis) and the names of two references by April 22, 2020, to Ms. Van Vianen, , mentioning vacancy number ATTBM 20.026.

If you want to be considered for one of our other PhD positions, then also upload your documents to our Hybrid Intelligence talent pool at

Your information will then be shared among the researchers in the consortium, and you may be approached for one of the other positions listed on


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