Research Scientist – Autonomous Agents for Multimodal Character Interaction – Disney Research Pittsburgh

Disney Research Pittsburgh is seeking applicants for a Research Scientist position, at either the junior or senior level, in Autonomous Agents. The research emphasis is on architecture to support the integration of natural language with character-based reasoning and behavior.

As part of The Walt Disney Company, Disney Research builds upon a rich legacy of innovation and technology leadership in the entertainment industry that continues to this day. Disney Research was launched in 2008 offering the best attributes of academia and industry with the goal of driving value across the company through technological innovation. Our research covers a broad range of exciting and challenging applications that are experienced daily by millions of people around the world.

Our staff interacts directly with all core business areas of The Walt Disney Company including Theme Parks and Imagineering, Consumer Products, our Live Action and Animation Studios, and Media Networks. We publish our research and are actively engaged with the global research community. Our researchers collaborate closely with co-located academic institutions.

We are seeking applicants in the following areas:

  • Agent architectures for language-based character interaction.
  • AI and machine learning methods for autonomous, semantically-rich character behavior

Typical responsibilities of a Research Scientist include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Drive value for Disney through groundbreaking research and innovation.
  • Lead a research group with post-doctoral researchers, interns, and external collaborators.
  • Publish results and patent inventions in multimodal interaction.
  • Participate in conferences, workshops, and academic-industrial events.
  • Develop a strong network of business partners within the company.

Required Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in Computer Science or equivalent.
  • Proven track record of developing autonomous, integrated agents with real-time NL components.
  • Experience with both symbolic and statistical machine learning methods as applied to modeling semantics, action, or behavior.
  • Possess strong technical presentation skills and able to clearly communicate with technical and non-technical audiences.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Experience in interaction design for entertainment.
  • Background in NLP (e.g., relationship extraction, word sense disambiguation, narrative generation) desirable.


To apply, please email DRP-RS-NLP-2017 in your subject line.

Important Application Information:

Our system allows us to track multiple documents within your candidate profile. In order to be considered for this opportunity, you must email your most current CV along with a cover letter that details your area of specialization and geographic preferences. We also request that you provide a link to, or include copies of, representative papers that we may add to your profile. If you are selected to move forward in the process, we will request that you provide the names and contact information of three or more individuals who have been asked to provide letters of reference.