COBRA is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network that aims to train the next generation of researchers to accurately characterize and model the linguistic, cognitive and brain mechanisms deployed by human speakers in conversational interactions with human interlocutors as well as artificial dialog systems.
It relies on a cross-sectoral international network of 11 world-level academic research centers and 4 nonacademic partners with 3 fast-developing SMEs and 1 world-level company.
The partners' unique combined expertise and high complementarity will allow COBRA to offer 15 ESRs an excellent training programme as well as strong exposure to the non-academic sector in the emerging field of conversational brains. Training will cover scientific and technical skills, from the joint monitoring of brain and physiological activities in two or more people talking to each other to making multi-language databases, resources and findings available in open access, as well as transferable skills.
The ESRs will conduct experimental and corpus studies on the alignment and prediction processes that make conversation between people both easy and fluent, across a large variety of communicational settings and in different languages, to better understand how these processes contribute to setting up brain-to-brain coupling relationships. Collaborative work with non-academic partners will foster the development of more effective and socially acceptable text-to-speech synthesizers, artificial dialogue systems, and social humanoid robots with high-level conversational skills.
The project will open new career perspectives for ESRs with interdisciplinary training in language sciences, neuroscience and dialog systems on a very fast-growing digital market. COBRA’s training programme will also have major societal implications as it will concern aspects of the European citizens’ everyday life, from spoken interactions with machines to conversing in a non-native language.
Deadline is 31 March 2020.
For information about the different positions and for APPLYING, please consult the link provided for each of the projects:
- ESR1: Categorization of speech sounds as a collective decision process (Prof Noël NGUYEN, Aix-Marseille University, France)
- ESR2 : Brain markers of between-speaker convergence in conversational speech (Prof Alessandro D'AUSILIO, Italian Institute of Technology/IIT, Italy)
- ESR3: Phd on neural alignment between speakers in conversational interactions: Does prediction drive neural alignment in conversation? (Prof Noël NGUYEN, Aix-Marseille University, France)
- ESR4 : Brain indexes of semantic and pragmatic prediction (Prof Friedemann PULVERMÜLLER, Freie Universität Berlin/FUB, Germany)
- ESR5 : Communicative alignment at the physiological level (Prof Christine MOOSHAMMER and Prof Susanne FUCHS, Humboldt University/HU and Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft/ZAS, Germany)
- ESR6 : Lexical alignment in human-machine spoken interaction (Prof Martin PICKERING, University of Edinburgh/UEDIN, UK)
- ESR7 : Contribution of discourse markers to alignment in conversation (Prof Liesbeth DEGAND, Université Catholique de Louvain/UCL, Belgium)
- ESR8 : Discourse units and discourse alignment (Prof Liesbeth DEGAND, Université Catholique de Louvain/UCL, Belgium)
- ESR9 : Acoustic-phonetic alignment in synthetic speech (Prof Simon KING, University of Edinburgh/UEDIN, UK)
- ESR10 : Phonetic alignment in a non-native language (Prof Alessandro D'AUSILIO, Italian Institute of Technology/IIT, Italy)
- ESR11 : Conversation coordination and mind-reading (Prof Stefan BENUS, Institute of Informatics Slovak Academy of Sciences/IISAS, Slovakia)
- ESR12 : The influence of alignment (Prof Stefan BENUS, Institute of Informatics Slovak Academy of Sciences/IISAS, Slovakia)
- ESR13 : Parametric dialogue synthesis: from separate speakers to conversational interaction (Dr Esther Judd, ReadSpeaker, Sweden OR The Netherlands)
- ESR14 : Gender and vocal alignment in speakers and robots (Prof Gabriel Skantze, Furhat Robotics, Sweden)
- ESR15 : Endowing robots with high-level conversational skills (Prof Gabriel Skantze, Furhat Robotics, Sweden)