PhD researcher on Human-like AI

Job description


imec is the world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies. The combination of our widely acclaimed leadership in microchip technology and profound software and ICT expertise is what makes us unique. By leveraging our world-class infrastructure and local and global ecosystem of partners across a multitude of industries, we create groundbreaking innovation in application domains such as healthcare, smart cities and mobility, logistics and manufacturing, and energy.   


University of Antwerp – imec IDLab Research group

The IDLab research group of imec  and the University of Antwerp performs fundamental and applied research on internet technologies and data science. The overall IDLab research areas are machine learning and data mining; semantic intelligence; distributed intelligence for IoT; cloud and big data infrastructures; multimedia coding and delivery; wireless and fixed networking;  electromagnetics, RF and high-speed circuits and systems. Within Antwerp, IDLab specifically focuses on wireless networking and distributed intelligence.  IDLab has a unique research infrastructure used in numerous national and international collaborations.  


IDLab collaborates with many universities and research centres worldwide and jointly develops advanced technologies with industry (R&D centers from international companies, Flanders’ top innovating large companies and SME’s, as well as numerous ambitious startups). 


For further development of the IDLab machine learning research cluster, we are looking for a PhD researcher in the domain of human-like AI.  


The research project

Deep learning has resulted in major breakthroughs with above human performance in the domain of computer vision, natural language processing and complex control. However, at the same time, current deep learning solutions lack many capabilities where humans excel such as clearly understanding structured representations and quickly adapting to new and unseen tasks with limited data or sparse rewards.


In this research project, you will investigate new solutions for machine learning that can go beyond simple pattern matching. The aim is to build solutions which are able to understand the environment they are observing and act accordingly in a fast and creative way. Techniques that will be investigated in this domain are graph neural networks, meta-learning and lifelong learning.


The job

  • You are conducting research in the IDLab distributed intelligence team, enhancing, applying or extending new machine learning solutions in the domain of meta-learning, incremental learning, reasoning and/or learning structured representations.
  • You will implement novel neural network architectures and algorithms, and conduct experiments to compare the new algorithms with existing state-of-the-art methods 
  • You will write detailed evaluation reports on the developed algorithms and executed experiments, publishing them in major conferences and journals. 
  • You will develop demonstrators in the framework of European and national research projects (in collaboration with industry). 

For more information, please contact


  • You have or will soon obtain a Master of Science degree, preferably in Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Biology, Physics, Electrical Engineering, or equivalent. 
  • You have experience with programming languages and software development 
  • You have a profound interest in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Knowledge on meta-learning and incremental learning is an advantage. 
  • You are a team player and have strong communication skills. 
  • Your English is fluent, both speaking and writing.