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Infineon Case Study - AI Heroes training program

December 20, 2022

A case study on the development of the AI innovation training program 'AI Heroes' at Infineon

Accelerating AI at Infineon Austria

“Grow your knowledge and best practices in AI innovation! AI is about creating change and you can be a change ambassador for our organization with all your learnings. This know-how will get you far – and the last mile you will walk by spreading your enthusiasm and convincing allies. I wish you all the best for our joint AI journey!” - Sabine Herlitschka, CEO Infineon Austria

As a leading semiconductor manufacturer, Infineon Technologies helps customers to realize their ambitions regarding Artificial Intelligence. This is why they continuously train their employees ‘AI Innovation Muscle’. In this context, Infineon started a new AI Program at its Austria site in Villach. Within 4 months, employees from various departments can join forces to develop new skills and realize their own #AI project. Together with appliedAI, they grow their AI maturity and systematically learn to ideate and scale AI solutions.

The program was brought to life by Infineon's AI Center of Excellence Team in Munich together with Infineon Austria (IFAT). The success was made possible by the strong endorsement of Sabine Herlitschka, Infineon Austria’s CEO, and facilitated through Infineon’s innovation accelerator program.

Infineon approached appliedAI with the idea to offer an AI innovation program at its Austrian site in Villach. Jointly, appliedAI and Infineon came up with the concept for a hands-on training program piloted at Infineon Austria. The resulting training program, AI Heroes, aims to accomplish the following three objectives:

1. Upskill a heterogeneous group of employees at IFAT on the topic of AI.

2. Enable participants to systematically innovate on AI use cases and to accelerate AI at Infineon.

3. Empower participants to become AI ambassadors at Infineon Austria and worldwide.

The following case study gives insights into this innovative educational offer and its results. Learn about an efficient and holistic way to upskill a diverse set of employees in your organization on the topic of AI.

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Source: appliedAI


AI is always a team sport. We are thrilled to bring together technical, business and strategy experts of Infineon with appliedAI change makers behind one goal: Bringing AI Innovation to the next level at Infineon Austria and beyond!

Nico Kelling, Head of Infineon's AI Center of Excellence
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Initial Situation and Problem Statement

As a high-tech company, Infineon has an excellent surrounding for AI Innovation: Technical and business experts are well-versed in the importance of AI and the new possibility it opens. Infineon wanted to create a free space where AI enthusiasts could think out of the box and dive deeper into AI’s potential and unfold their own AI use case ideas. Bringing the potential of Infineon’s chip hardware together with AI’s possibilities in creative ways will be a boost for Infineon’s future portfolio. Creating a strong network of AI enthusiasts was at the heart of the new program and will work as a driver of change for high levels of AI maturity at the company.

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Approach and Methodology

The novel educational program was developed by appliedAI with the learners’ needs in mind. As a first step, an interdisciplinary team, including instructional designers, AI engineers, and AI strategists, was formed to guarantee diverse perspectives contributing to the project.

The first milestone was accomplished through the development of an extensive learning journey tailored to Infineon Austria’s (IFAT) ideas and requirements.

The envisioned learning journey consists of three main phases including various areas of interest. The resulting curriculum is described in detail below.

Learner Journey 1

Curriculum

The first phase of the AI Heroes training program is laying the knowledge and terminology foundation for the participants to understand AI. This is a prerequisite for the following phases of the training. The areas of interestThe foundational contents in this phase are AI strategy, AI technology, and AI project management. The later use case development built on this groundwork.

AI Strategy: This module gives an introduction to AI and AI strategy. It focuses on the AI strategy house and the importance of a holistic AI strategy within a company.

AI Technology: This module gives an introduction to the technology driving AI and Machine Learning (ML) to showcase their potential for different application areas. Here, topics such as ML learning types, neural nets, and ethical considerations, are covered. In addition, trainers guide the participants through an AI use case implementation on the topic of Natural Language Processing (NLP).

AI Project Management: In this module, the basics of AI project management are covered. Starting from well-known approaches such as SCRUM and Kanban, specific uncertainty-based approaches to managing ML projects are covered. Participants learn agile project management methods through a hands-on exercise. Furthermore, this module covers the ML-Lifecycle in great detail.

Equipped with lots of AI knowledge, participants form smaller groups and start to ideate multiple AI use cases. The goal is to find use cases that fit with Infineon’s strategic AI ambition. Following the ideation, participants assess and prioritize said use cases.

Use Case Ideation: Participants learn how to find relevant AI use cases that are in line with the company’s AI ambition. They get to practice different ideation approaches on a case study, before applying the methods to find Infineon-relevant use cases.

Use Case Assessment: Participants learn how to assess AI use cases along the dimensions of value and ease of implementation. They apply these assessment techniques to the ideated use cases from the previous session.

Use Case Prioritization: Participants learn how to choose (prioritize) from their ideated and assessed AI use cases. The goal: Each group selects one use case to proceed with to phase 3.

The accelerator sprint is a deep dive into every group’s AI use case. It entails the detailed planning of the AI use case, a suggested ML-pipeline for implementation, measures to deal with uncertainty, and an implementation plan along project phases.

Project Planning: Participants work in groups on the AI use case they chose in phase 2. In this session, participants are confronted with many questions that are relevant to be answered before the use case implementation. The questions are organized along the ML-Lifecycle.

Uncertainty and ML-Pipeline: Participants design a suiting ML-Pipeline for future implementation. For that purpose, a no-code environment is simulated. Furthermore, participants are exposed to events that could potentially happen during implementation. They have to find solutions in order to be prepared for such uncertain events.

Project Phases: Participants define a roadmap based on the ML project phases for implementation. They derive a rough timeline for the implementation of the AI use case.

After completing the primary training program participants present their developed use cases in front of a jury, which consists of representatives of Infineon’s AI Center of Excellence and the Infineon Austria division. The jury votes on the best use case idea.

Format

”AI Heroes” was conceptualized utilizing a blended learning approach. Blended learning describes a teaching method that blends asynchronous and computer-mediated self-studying with synchronous face-to-face sessions. This opens the opportunity for participants to come prepared for the live sessions, which increases learner success and engagement. More concretely, learners were given reading materials ahead of time and some guiding questions to answer in an online forum. In the face-to-face sessions, these answers were discussed and put into context. During live sessions, participants had the chance to individually learn new information and teach it to their peers.

While training materials were developed by appliedAI’s instructional designers with various subject matter experts, the actual live sessions were delivered by AI engineers and AI strategists. Hence, participants had the opportunity to interact with experts in the field of AI. Infineon organized events to strengthen the AI community and inspire AI-related discussions in the company. For example, Infineon organized fireplace talks, Q&A sessions, and an elaborate welcome day for their future AI heroes.

Pilot delivery

The training was first delivered as a pilot program on nine training days over a span of nine weeks in spring 2022. Overall, the feedback was very positive both from Infineon and the participants themselves. Needless to say, participants gave insightful and constructive feedback.

In summary, participants left the program with the following feedback:

  • The program gave an excellent overview of AI and its different aspects

  • Interactive elements were highly appreciated

  • Trainers were lauded for their in-depth knowledge

At the final presentation day, the jury attested a very high quality of the ideated and planned AI use cases. They ranged across different domains, e.g. anomaly detection in manufacturing, smart project planning as well as AI for sustainable battery management. Four of the ideated use cases will be continued after the program and have already secured funding for the next phase – this testifies to the excellence and relevance of the participants’ work in bringing these ideas to life!

Outcome and next steps

Within the described project appliedAI and Infineon developed and delivered a hands-on training program for Infineon, which upskills Infineon's employees on the topic of AI and enables them to systematically innovate on AI use cases: Participants did not just learn innovation frameworks but also gained valuable experience in applying those approaches on the spot. Iterating from a rough first idea to a use case prototype tremendously increased their learning curve to accelerate AI and to become AI ambassadors for the company. Overall, the program created a vibrant community of future AI ambassadors from different parts of the organization who will be the best advocates and multipliers for AI throughout Infineon! Due to the big success, a new batch of Austrian “AI Heroes” will start their innovation journey in 2023.

More information about AI at Infineon can be found here.

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Infineon Technologies AG

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