The AI Now Institute at New York University is seeking a full-time Research Lead to oversee AI Now’s Data Genesis Program. We welcome qualified candidates from all disciplines to apply. 

About the Data Genesis Program 

Machine learning systems are profoundly influenced by the data they're trained on and evaluated against. Yet there has been a lack of research into the processes of how such data is created, labeled, and used in practice. Since our first Data Genesis workshop in 2017, the AI Now Institute has been developing new approaches to study, assess and understand the connection between the data that shapes machine learning systems, and the biases and limitations such systems exhibit when applied.

What type of information is used as training data? Who generates and collects it and for what purpose? Which populations does it reflect? Who and what does it exclude? How does that affect the functioning of AI systems themselves? And how could it be improved? These are some of the questions the Data Genesis Program will address. Additional information can be found in our program announcement here

Key Responsibilities

Reporting to AI Now’s Leadership Team, the Research Lead will be responsible for advancing the program’s strategy, research, engagements, and impact. You will conduct original research, manage and mentor the Data Genesis research team, and steward relationships with external collaborators, funders, and community partners. This work will lead to peer-reviewed publications in addition to workshops and other outputs and activities that aim to engage diverse stakeholders and broaden public understanding of these topics. In this role, you will: 

  • Further develop, implement, and manage the Institute’s overall vision for this program, which includes three core components: 
    • Analyzing the origin and construction of key datasets that serve as foundations for today’s AI systems, and working to archive key datasets; 
    • Working with a designer to produce visualizations, maps, and other representations that help illustrate and contextualize what data is and its social implications; 
    • Convening experts from across disciplines to help build shared approaches around this topic. 
  • Oversee multiple interdisciplinary research projects under this program from design to publication, guiding collaborative teams toward shared outcomes with clear roles and deadlines. 
  • Communicate your work with a wider public audience (via academic papers, op-eds, journal articles, blog posts, panels, interviews, etc.).
  • Cultivate meaningful research- and community-based partnerships that lead to collaborative opportunities, shared research projects and agendas, and ongoing knowledge sharing.
  • Lead and participate in reading groups, working groups, workshops, and other gatherings related to the Data Genesis program.
  • Build out, manage, and mentor the Data Genesis research team and advise staff and affiliates engaged in research on related topics.
  • Contribute to AI Now’s broader research agenda, participating in projects that are adjacent to the Data Genesis program and aligned with your interests and capacity. 
  • Manage relationships with key funders of this program, drive grant reporting, and support the development team in securing additional funding and renewals for this work.
  • Help build AI Now. On a small and growing team, every member has an important role in building the systems, processes, and culture that make up our organization.

Compensation

This is a full-time two-year position, with the possibility of renewal. Annual salary is commensurate with experience. We offer a competitive benefits package through New York University, including health coverage, dental and vision plans, and retirement, as well as generous paid time off and supportive parental leave policies. Additionally, you will have access to annual professional development funds. Relocation assistance may be provided as needed.

Preferred Qualifications 

Candidates should be driven to understand the social and political implications of AI and related systems and be interested in working in an interdisciplinary environment. Candidates from any academic discipline are encouraged to apply. Additionally, candidates should have:

  • A demonstrated ability to plan, organize, manage, and publish rigorous research related to this program; experience with interdisciplinary research preferred.
  • Generally conversant in AI/ML techniques and research, with the ability to draw connections between a system’s training data, design, and social implications.
  • A strong research track record, in line with your career stage, demonstrated by journal publications and/or conference papers and other forms of academic participation.
  • At least 5 years of relevant professional experience; Candidates who have completed a PhD or have equivalent experience are preferred. Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Excellent communication skills with the ability to translate technical topics into compelling narratives for a range of audiences and contexts.
  • Strong leadership and management skills, with a genuine commitment to building healthy teams and mentoring junior staff. 
  • Ability to work on-site at our offices in New York City; while there may be opportunities to work remotely on occasion, this job will necessitate your being on-site.

New York University is an Equal Opportunity Employer. New York University is committed to a policy of equal treatment and opportunity in every aspect of its hiring and promotion process without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sex, pregnancy or childbirth (or related medical condition), sexual orientation, partnership status, gender and/or gender identity or expression, marital, parental or familial status, caregiver status, national origin, ethnicity, alienage or citizenship status, veteran or military status, age, disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, domestic violence victim status, unemployment status, or any other legally protected basis. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons of minority sexual orientation or gender identity, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply for vacant positions at all levels.

Data Protection Policy

AI Now strives to minimize data collection and limit use of data to the specific purpose for which it is collected. For job applications, we use a series of third party services to help store and organize applicant information. After our hiring process concludes, we save the minimal amount of data required for our HR compliance records and delete the rest. Unless compelled by legal process or pursuant to the applicant’s permission, we do not share any information we receive from applicants with any external person or entity. Should we receive any such legal process, we will attempt to notify the individual whose data is at issue if at all possible in a timely manner.

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