Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
What We Do
At the SEI AI Division, we conduct research in applied artificial intelligence and the engineering questions related to the practical design and implementation of AI technologies and systems. As our government customers adopt AI and machine learning to provide leap-ahead mission capabilities, we
- Build real-world, mission-scale AI capabilities through solving practical engineering problems
- Discover and define the processes, practices, and tools to support operationalizing AI for human-centered, robust, secure, and scalable mission capabilities
- Prepare our customers to be ready for the unique challenges of adopting, deploying, using, and maintaining AI capabilities
- Identify and investigate emerging AI and AI-adjacent technologies that are rapidly transforming the technology landscape
Are you creative, curious, and collaborative? Do you enjoy doing meaningful and complex work? Are you interested in making a difference by bringing innovation to government organizations and beyond? Apply to join our team.
As a Senior Research Scientist in the AI Division, you will lead human-centered research to support the operationalization of responsible AI (RAI) and other advanced technologies. You will collaborate with technical staff and government customers and help shape the AI Division's approach to current national initiatives and make a difference for our government customers. You will apply your user experience (UX) related expertise to contribute directly to government projects on important and challenging problems. The work environment in the AI Division is dynamic and flexible, with opportunities to develop new skills, learn about new frameworks and techniques, and collaborate with other human-centered researchers in the AI Division and across CMU.
- Lead Research: Lead and facilitate project teams and customers through human-centered research processes to understand contexts and yield actionable insights. Identify, plan, conduct, and analyze research studies that meet the goals of the effort. Utilize diverse research methods (qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods) to understand and articulate the goals, needs, attitudes, and behaviors of users. Research studies may include interviews, observations, usability studies, card sorting, heuristic evaluations, surveys, and others as appropriate. Lead secondary research efforts reviewing resources from industry, government agencies, academia and other sources on topics such as RAI, UX, and human-centered design. Develop new research methods and practices that support the efforts of teams developing RAI systems.
- Transition Knowledge: Translate quantitative and qualitative research data into actionable insights, tangible artifacts, and useful recommendations. Communicate concepts and ideas through storytelling and useful visualizations such as journey maps, workflows, diagrams, and other artifacts. Create interactive prototypes that represent the needs identified during research, to instantiate recommendations, and/or as experiments to build understanding. Present research in compelling ways and craft impactful experiences and presentations that showcase our work.
- Community Engagement and Publishing: Write white papers, articles, blogs, and other documents to transition knowledge to our customers. Communicate and share research findings internally and externally through conference presentations, published papers, blogs, podcasts, and more.
- Collaboration and Facilitation: Collaborate with a diverse team of researchers in the AI Division who have expertise in machine learning, engineering, mathematics, human-computer interaction, product management, and other subjects, as well as colleagues across the SEI, CMU, and our government customers. Design and facilitate working sessions and workshops with various audiences to prioritize research, collect technical information and define requirements, explore problems, generate ideas, create alignment and engagement, and define impactful strategies.
- Experience: You have extensive experience leading human-centered research studies and have conducted research for advanced technologies such as AI. You have broad knowledge of human-centered methods and are comfortable explaining the rationale for their selection. You have experience conducting research for advanced technologies with software engineers and other experts, and experience working as a researcher in an industry with a specialized audience (e.g., scientists, military, etc.). You have experience facilitating workshops and sessions with multi-disciplinary teams and stakeholders, and translating research, rough concepts, and ideas into useful artifacts.
- Research Examples: If you are selected for an interview, we will ask you to present evidence of your work and any publications and discuss them. Showcase your storytelling ability by sharing as much as you can about the research you have led to understand users, their context, and the advanced technologies being implemented. You will explain the rationale for your research, the methodology and analysis choices, the considerations made for protecting the users and people affected by the technology (RAI related efforts), and discuss and/or show the evolution of prototypes and other artifacts.
Skills and Abilities:
- Communicator and Collaborator: Your communication style is assertive and kind, and you enjoy collaborative work. You have experience communicating complex concepts clearly across different audiences. You have strong attention for detail in thinking, implementation, and deliverables. You have a proven ability to work both independently and with a diverse cross-functional team (such as with engineers and mathematicians).
- Versatile and Motivated: You have experience working in situations where priorities shift frequently, and you are comfortable taking action amidst ambiguity. You are self-motivated and persistent in finding answers and you can work toward a common vision with little oversight. You have conducted research across more than one initiative at once and can quickly adapt to new types of projects--ranging in time and scope from a few weeks to months.
- Embrace Complexity: You are curious, and you have experience working to understanding and define advanced technologies and the risks that they can introduce. You have experience with and knowledge of leading-edge technologies such as those that incorporate AI, machine learning, robotics, computer vision, chatbots, augmented or virtual reality, and/or other emerging technologies.
- Bachelor's degree in a discipline relevant to human-centered research such as human-computer interaction (HCI), user experience (UX), psychology, anthropology, or a related field.
- 10+ years of professional experience doing human-centered research and translating research into actions alongside development teams. Significant experience doing this work to improve experiences with advanced technologies.
- Flexible to travel to other SEI offices in Pittsburgh and Washington, DC, sponsor sites, conferences, and offsite meetings on occasion. Moderate (25%) travel outside of your home location.
- You will be subject to a background investigation and must be eligible to obtain and maintain a Department of Defense security clearance.
- Master's degree in a discipline relevant to human-centered research.
- Experience working with the U.S. Government is a plus.
CMU's COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements: As a condition of employment, Carnegie Mellon University requires all staff and faculty working in the United States to be fully vaccinated, including a booster when eligible, against COVID-19. Prior to commencement of employment, new hires in the United States must provide proof of vaccination or obtain an approved exemption. (Exemptions may be requested for medical reasons or for religious or strong moral or ethical conviction.) Staff and faculty must comply with all applicable COVID-19 mitigation requirements. Please see Minimum Requirements to Return to Campus for details regarding the university's current COVID-19 mitigation requirements.
Arlington, VA, Pittsburgh, PA
Staff - Regular
Full time/Part time
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Carnegie Mellon University is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Disability/Veteran.
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