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At the Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business and Management, a PhD scholarship in AI technologies and emerging eco-systems is open for appointment on 15 November 2019 or as soon as possible.


The recent decade has seen an unprecedented development of machine learning (ML) techniques with artificial intelligence (AI) being its current umbrella term and culmination. More powerful hardware, the availability of Big Data as well a major leap in Deep Learning (modern neural network architectures) are often quoted as the broader reasons for this rapid evolution. Today, these rather general machine learning technologies, often merely algorithms, are quickly finding their way from research into their application in products and services. When it comes to applied ML and AI, China has been forging ahead in the past few years and there is no indication of a slowdown. In 2017, AI was declared by the central Chinese government as one of the strategic technologies, and in July of the same year the “national AI development plan” was announced targeting a full catch-up in relevant technologies until 2025, and world leadership until 2030. The PhD project will focus on understanding the structure and dynamics of the emerging Chinese innovation ecosystem that supports the development and application of AI technologies in a defined setting. The candidate would mainly work on meso- and macro levels, however, the project can also be complemented by case studies. The main methodological focus will be the application of modern statistical and broader data science methods, such as techniques for natural language processing and understanding, network analysis, and predictive modelling. This also includes the identification and use of novel data sources that allow capturing structures and processes in an emerging context. Examples of themes that the project could explore:

  • Role of digital incumbent firms (e.g. Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent) as platform orchestrators and beyond

  • Role of AI in transforming sectors such as education or healthcare.

  • Business model innovation triggered by implementing AI technologies.

  • Education and skill formation to support the emerging ecosystem.

The PhD candidate will be working with data-driven approaches to ecosystem mapping and systemic innovation to understand the impact of emerging technologies in a Chinese context. The candidate will be engaged with Chinese innovation and computer science researchers drawing on the already existing networks developed by the AAU team at Sino-Danish Center (SDC) / UCAS (University of the Chines Academy of Sciences) as well as other Asian and European research environments. The PhD-student will be enrolled at the Doctoral School of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Aalborg University and will be anchored in the IKE-Group, Department of Business and Management. The applicant is expected to contribute to the research environment and teaching at Aalborg University in Denmark The position is also attached to the Sino-Danish Centre (SDC) in Beijing. Aalborg University is the lead university of the SDC Innovation Management programme. It is an integral part of the PhD position to conduct studies in China, take part in the SDC activities, including teaching in China on the MSc in Innovation Management programme. The candidate is required to stay in China for 12 months with the possibility to divide the months into shorter stays over a period of three years.

+info: here

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