PhD candidate: Artificial Intelligence for the Cultural Industries

Updated: 8 months ago
Deadline: 18 Nov 2019

The Amsterdam Business School (ABS) is one of the two schools of the University of Amsterdam’s Faculty of Economics and Business. The school’s core subjects are Corporate Governance, Entrepreneurship, and Big Data / Business Analytics. Six sections (Accounting, Entrepreneurship & Innovation , Finance, Leadership & Management, International Strategy & Marketing, and Operations Management) conduct top-level research published in prestigious international journals. They also provide various degree programmes including a BSc programme and six MSc programmes, a wide range of post-doctoral programmes featuring three MBAs, four accountancy programmes and Lean Six Sigma programmes, as well as an extensive portfolio of open courses and in-company projects.

The Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB) provides academic programs for more than 7,000 students and employs about 400 people. The Faculty conducts research in many specialist areas and participates in the Tinbergen Institute, one of Europe's leading graduate schools in economics, finance, and econometrics.

The Amsterdam Business School (ABS), part of the FEB, is a partner of Amsterdam Data Science, a network consisting of the academic knowledge institutes in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, and worldwide industry partners that focus on stimulating research and education in Data Science.

Job description

The Entrepreneurship and Innovation section of the ABS is looking for a PhD candidate for an interdisciplinary project in the fields of computer science and business for the cultural industries.

This PhD project focuses on understanding economic and artistic success in the international visual art market. Categorization will be used as a theoretical lens, combined with advanced machine learning techniques, particularly deep learning. We aim at gaining a fine-grained understanding of the effects of explicit (e.g., genre, style, movement, and period) and implicit categories (e.g., based on the automatic analysis of visual content, text, and metadata) on art appreciation, canonization and sales at art auctions.

A novel and large-scale multimedia dataset, containing images, text, and metadata will be central to the analysis. Several consortium partners will contribute data and unique expertise, e.g., Sotheby’s, Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, and The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision.

The project will build on relevant business theories and state of the art deep learning techniques in the cultural industries by:

  • developing innovative ways of fusing and analysing highly heterogeneous content associated with visual artworks-both image and text- as well as the information on artists’ social network and the venues exhibiting their work;
  • facilitating categorization of multimedia content at higher semantic levels that go beyond e.g., color, texture, object and event detection to understanding of style, genre, and semantic theme;
  • translating relevant management science theories into predictive algorithms designed to help academics and professionals working in the cultural industries.

Successful applicants will present their research findings at prestigious management science and computer science conferences and publish in top-tier international management science journals.


Applicants for the PhD position must have an MSc in computer science, artificial intelligence, data science, econometrics or a closely related area.

Also, the successful candidate should:

  • have a background in statistics, machine learning, computer vision, and information retrieval;
  • have a keen interest in testing management science theories with large-scale real-world data;
  • have some experience with deep learning programming frameworks such as TensorFlow, PyTorch or Caffe;
  • have excellent programming skills in one or more of the following languages: Python, C, C++;
  • have excellent communication skills in English, both oral and written;
  • enjoy working in a team.

Further information

The project team consists of dr Monika Kackovic, dr Stevan Rudinac, Prof. Nachoem Wijnberg, Prof. Marcel Worring and the consortium partners from the cultural industries.

For further information, please contact:


The appointment will be for 4 years, with an intermediate evaluation after 18 months.  End-result should be a PhD thesis. The PhD candidate is also expected to assist in teaching.
The gross monthly salary will range from €2,325 in the first year to €2,972 in the last year. The Collective Labour Agreement (Cao) of Dutch Universities  is applicable.
Ideally, the candidate will be able to start in early 2020, but this is negotiable.

For more information about the research policy at the Amsterdam Business School: ABS .

Job application

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

Your application should include your curriculum vitae, a transcript of your BSc and MSc course grades, and a letter of motivation. Please include the names and contact details of two references. The letter of motivation should be a single page statement summarizing:

  • your interest in artificial intelligence and business in the cultural industries;
  • evidence of your suitability for the job and
  • any relevant research contributions in the past, such as your MSc project.

Group documents in one PDF attachment.

The position will be open until 18 November 2019. #LI-DNP     

No agencies please

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