Social Science Postdoctoral Researcher to Study the Diffusion of AI


Job description

We are looking for a postdoctoral researcher in the project “Predicting the diffusion of AI-applications”. The project will investigate the mechanisms underlying the spread of different technologies based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in society and develop a predictive framework based on these findings. It includes both empirical analyses and modeling. There is a range of disciplines (including economics, psychology and sociology) that could inform this research. The applicant’s interests will to some extent determine the focus of this position. The study of AI’s social impacts is a novel and undeveloped research field, leading to plenty of interesting hypotheses to be investigated for an engaged researcher.

The successful candidate will be employed by the Institute for Futures Studies, Stockholm, Sweden, and work in close collaboration with Associate Professor Pontus Strimling and Dr. Emma Engström. The position is fixed term of two (plus one) years.


The requirement for this position is a PhD received at latest May 2020. We are looking broadly for a candidate with a background in any of the social sciences. Previous research experience on AI / machine learning is not necessary. We wish that you have an interest in one of the aspects relevant to the project and in data collection practices, such as survey methodology or data scraping, as well as skills to quantitatively analyze the data that we collect. The successful candidate will be independent and creative, with an interest in interdisciplinary research. The working language is English.

About the project

This project aims to develop a framework for predicting the diffusion of consumer AI in different demographics within the coming decade. This framework will be based on studies of mechanisms for AI diffusion. This includes studies of consumer choices and understanding the logic behind what products firms bring to market. The project is funded by Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program – Humanities and Society (WASP-HS). More information about the project     


Applicants are requested to enclose the following documents in English with their application. Please compile the documents as a single pdf file:

Send your application to no later than 31 January 2020. For more information about the project, please contact Emma Engström

For more information about the Institute for Futures Studies, please contact Christina Alwert

 We look forward to applications from all sexes, backgrounds, functionalities, and life experiences.

About the research team

We are a research team with backgrounds in psychology, sociology, economics, mathematics, and philosophy, and we share an engagement in technology and social changes. We believe that AI will have an enormous impact on society, and we think that research in social science has a key role to play when it comes to understanding this impact. Thus, we need to identify the specifics of AI-technology, evaluate the dynamics of its diffusion, and investigate its social and ethical implications empirically and theoretically. We value creativity and an open mind. Read more about what we do at, our blog about the social impact of AI.