JOBS

Spring 2018 Internships

We are now accepting applications for spring 2018! Explore our available projects below for more information. Please note that while some projects descriptions mention specific roles, participation in that project is not limited to only those sub-projects. Anyone who is interested in a project is encouraged to send in their resume for consideration. To apply, please complete this application form (Google login required).

Questions or concerns? Want to stay in touch about future openings? Email Lauren Simmons for more information.

SCIPR

Curiosity inspires you to study your favorite subjects, and stay up late nights reading about topics you’re passionate about. Sadly, curiosity is becoming less common in elementary and middle schools in our increasingly test-oriented society. Our lab is developing an intelligent virtual child that will evoke curiosity, exploration, and self-efficacy through collaboration in a playful learning environment. For more details about the project, see the website description here.

Virtual Child Collaborative Game Play

We are seeking students with experience in computer science and an interest in human-computer interaction to take part in the design and development of a virtual child system that can engage in a multi-party tangible tabletop game, and carry out verbal and non-verbal behaviors to elicit curiosity during the gameplay.

Desired skills and experience include:

  • Hands-on experience in user interface design (required), system development (required) and usability evaluation (preferred)
  • Strong programming skills with Java (required) and Python (preferred)

Decision Making Module

We are seeking students with an interest and background in statistics and machine learning and solid programming skills to take part in the design and development of a decision-making module that will enable the virtual child to decide gameplay behavior in real time through the use of a statistical model of child-child interaction.

Desired skills and experience include:

  • Hands-on experience in statistics and machine learning
  • Strong programming and system development skills with Java (required) and Python (preferred)

SARA

We are inventing the personal assistant of the future. SARA, the Socially-Aware Robot Assistant, can build a relationship with a user and then employ that relationship to better achieve the user’s goals. SARA is an embodied intelligent personal assistant that analyzes the user’s visual (head and face movement), vocal (acoustic features), and verbal (conversational strategies) behaviors to estimate the level of interpersonal closeness that the user feels for the system, all in real time. The system then generates its own appropriate vocal, nonverbal, and verbal behaviors to maintain or increase interpersonal closeness in a way that encourages the user to disclose information that will allow the system to better serve the user’s goals.

This spring, through the deep inquiry of humans’ social interaction combined with the use and development of cutting-edge social AI techniques, we plan to design and develop a new version of SARA that will be permanently featured on an 84” touch-enabled display on CMU’s campus to serve visitors, students, and faculty members in many ways. Our goal is to design and deploy a system that can establish long-term relationship with users who are naturally willing to communicate with SARA and keep using the service in their daily lives on campus.

Scenario and Service Design on the CMU Campus

We are seeking students with experience in human-computer interaction to assist in the reimagining the UI/UX of SARA’s scenario and service design. Students will perform qualitative and quantitative analyses of human-human data, create journey maps to specify functionalities of SARA, and design service content and conversational scenarios.

For this subproject, some combination of following technical skills/experiences are preferable:

  • Hands-on experience in user interface design (required), system development (required) and usability evaluation (preferred)
  • Experience and interest in contextual inquiry and service design

Dialogue System Component Development

We are seeking students to assist in the development and implementation of dialogue system components of the SARA system. This subproject will be especially appealing to students with interest and experience in speech and language processing, dialogue systems, machine learning techniques (especially deep neural networks), and software engineering.

InMind

The InMind project is creating the next generation of socially-aware mobile assistants. This spring, we are looking for students with backgrounds in computer science, HCI, natural language processing, cognitive science, psychology, and related fields to help us to design, build, and evaluate the next generation of mobile assistants.

Our assistant aims at giving you access to all that the web has to offer while learning more about you and your preferences at the same time. In doing so, our assistant is able to use the information it learns about you to get you the content that you want more quickly and build a relationship with you by increasingly treating you like an old friend rather than a new business client who just met you.

Other virtual personal assistants on the market, like Siri, Cortana, or even Alexa, all act as if they have just met you. They never change the way they talk to you or even how much they know about you. Our system uses the sensing capabilities available on smartphones (camera and microphone) to understand speech and facial expressions and extract user intentions and entities. It then reasons about both the task and social situation and steers the dialog progression in order to satisfy the user’s requests and strengthen the relationship over time.

For more information about these projects, see the InMind project description.

UI Design of a Socially Aware Mobile Assistant

We are seeking students to innovate the user design of our mobile assistant by taking advantage of the multimodal capabilities of our assistant to improve user experience and provide information through different communication channels.

For this subproject, some combination of the following technical skills and experience is preferable:

  • UI design
  • Android development
  • Usability evaluation

Longitudinal Study of a Socially Aware Mobile Assistant

We are seeking students to assist in the design and conduct a longitudinal study of our current mobile assistant application. The objective is to collect and analyze data to investigate how users build rapport with our assistant and assess whether this rapport influences the system’s task performance.

For this subproject, some combination of the following skills and experience is preferable:

  • UX design
  • Data analysis
  • Research methods

Dialog Design for Social Interaction and Off-topic Talk

We are seeking students to design extended capabilities of our backend components in order for our system to better react to aspects of the social interaction as well as to manage off-topic talk.

This subproject can take multiple directions with corresponding relevant technical or design skills and experience with:

  • Dialog design and storytelling
  • Usability evaluation
  • Web technologies and APIs

2017 ArticuLab: we had 21 summer interns, some of whom are shown here,
as well as our lab director, graduate students, postdocs and staff.

2016 ArticuLab: we had 26 summer interns, some of whom are shown here,
as well as our lab director, graduate students, postdocs and staff.

2015 ArticuLab

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