Post-doc Position “Opacity in AI”

Eindhoven University of Technology is offering a 3-year, full-time post-doc position in the Philosophy and Ethics department (Faculty of Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences) on the general theme of “Opacity in Artificial Intelligence”. The successful applicant will join a strong team of philosophers who work on AI, in a group that focuses on technology, science and applied ethics.

Outline of the project

In recent years, philosophers have shown an increasing interest in AI. One set of philosophical questions is due to the fact that AI systems often produce an output where it is not clear why this output was produced; the system is ‘opaque’ (non-transparent) to the subjects, users, and even to the makers of the system. This raises a large number of pressing research questions, including:
1) What, exactly, is opacity in AI? 2) What is the impact of opacity, and what is its ethical relevance? 3) Should the impact of opacity be reduced? 4) Can the impact of opacity be reduced, e.g. through “explainable AI”? 5) Can we have data protection or unbiased systems if they are opaque? We welcome research projects on these or related issues.

The post-doc will work with Professor Vincent C. Müller and Assistant Professor Emily Sullivan; they will be part of a strong research group on the philosophy of AI and the philosophy of technology, generally. The Philosophy & Ethics department has recently hired four Assistant Professors and is advertising 3 Ph.D. positions on similar themes together with this post-doc position. Our working language is English.

Research Environment

The Philosophy & Ethics department at TU/e is a vibrant international community, consisting of around 30 members (including 9 Ph.D. students) with research interests ranging from the philosophy of science and technology to ethics and the philosophy of AI. We have strong cooperation with other departments and the new Eindhoven Artificial intelligence Systems Institute (EAISI).
The Ph.D.s will also be affiliated with the new centre for AI and Philosophy at TU/e.

TU/e is part of the 4TU Ethics Centre, where we cooperate closely on research and education of students (TU/e, Delft, Twente, Wageningen). We are part of the Ethics of Socially Disruptive Technologies (ESDT) research programme of seven academic institutions in the Netherlands, funded for 10 years with a combined budget of 27M€.

Job requirements

Your Profile

Ph.D. thesis finished (normally degree in hand), and a proven background in philosophy of language, logic, philosophy of science, epistemology, or conceptual history of philosophy – plus demonstrable affinity with cognitive science and ethics.

TU/e is an equal opportunity employer. We welcome candidates with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. As we aim to increase the diversity in our Department, we especially encourage candidates from underrepresented groups to apply.

Conditions of employment

  • We offer you a three-year full-time Post-Doc position. The intended starting date is May 1 to September 1, 2021. The position is for 80% research and 20% teaching.
  • You will have free access to high-quality training programmes on general skills, didactics and topics related to research and valorization.
  • A gross monthly salary (€ 3.255,-  / € 4.274,- per month) and benefits in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • Additionally, an annual holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, plus a year-end allowance of 8.3% of the annual salary, adding up to roughly 14 salaries/year.
  • The position comes with full social security benefits and a broad package of fringe benefits (including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes).
  • International applicants are likely to qualify for a 30% tax-free regime for the first five years of their appointment in the Netherlands.
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children daycare and sports facilities.


Information and application

More information

Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more? Please contact
Emily Sullivan, e.e.sullivan[at] or Vincent C. Müller, v.c.muller[at]

For more information on Philosophy & Ethics Department see
For more information on the Department of Industrial Engineering and Innovation Sciences see

For information about the terms of employment see here or contact HR advisor
Kim van Puijenbroek, pz.ieis[at]

Please visit to find out more about working at TU/e!



Your application should contain the following documents:

  • Brief letter of motivation explaining your interest in the position and your qualifications
    for it
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Writing sample
  • Research statement (ca. 1 page)
  • Names and contact information of two persons willing to provide references

We invite applications before 22nd March 2021. Interviews will be held shortly thereafter.

To apply, please go to the TU/e jobs page:

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