Knowledge Dissemination

Teaching and Knowledge Dissemination Plan in Artificial Intelligence for Industry 4.0.

The Teaching and Knowledge Dissemination Plan of the IAsmin Platform aims to work on four main "pillars" in order to:

  1. create a sustainable and coherent support infrastructure for the development of all activities, including their dissemination and transparency of actions;
  2. foster a technical mindset throughout Society, from basic education to post-education, reaching both individuals with access to regular education and those who do not have sufficient time or availability to participate in formal courses;
  3. academic training, , where we understand that it is possible to disseminate this knowledge through different courses: both graduate and postgraduate, technical and vocational, customized for specific subjects, whether implemented "in-company" or taught "at universities", among others
  4. implement applied research in real facilities, in order not only to demonstrate but also to enable real-time improvement of results and installations (plants) that implement the concepts of Industry 4.0. The illustrative approach of this plan can be seen in Figure 1, below.

Fig. 1 – Teaching and Knowledge Dissemination Plan Structuring

The proposed actions bring visibility and transparency to research results, as well as the knowledge generated and products developed, through the creation of communication channels with society, ICTs, and involved companies, serving as a reference and support for all those who wish to access the knowledge, while maintaining the "levels of access" and confidentiality of each information contained in it.

Prof. Dr. Lester de Abreu Faria, from Facens University Center, is in charge of The Academic Coordination. However, all team members will be capable and encouraged to support, propose, and implement plans, researches, and actions.

In general, it is known that the participation of the manufacturing industry, which had reached a percentage above 20% in the mid-1980s, is now reduced to only about 11% of the GDP. The productivity index of the Brazilian industry dropped from the 5th position in 2010 to the 29th position in 2016. Therefore, the implementation and research of disruptive tools and methods are seen as an excellent path towards the recovery and improvement of these indexes, with the 4th Industrial Revolution being an effective means and opportunity for such action.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a very broad area of Computer Science with various applications. Recent advances in Fuzzy Logic and Fuzzy Sets have shown how real-time applications in engineering, especially in control and automation, can benefit from AI in a more realistic and practical way. In the context of control and automation, this includes real-time monitoring and control systems, robotics, and machinery and equipment. In terms of automation and control, it is comprised of real-time and control systems, robotics, machines and equipment. On the other hand, in Machine Learning, a supervised learning system uses past information to create predictive intelligence capable of accurately forecasting future behavior. In general, all AI concepts and algorithms promote faster implementation and improved performance, thanks to scalable programming languages. In this scenario, AI proves to be an excellent tool for enhancing performance and promoting Industry 4.0, which is the main objective of this project as a whole.

In this context, enabling technologies are essential, making it extremely important for this project to: a. to bring a source of continuous interaction for the exchange, dissemination, and evolution of knowledge among educational institutions, companies, and the government, covering the entire ecosystem; and b. to penetrate the production chain, bringing even more small and medium-sized enterprises into a scenario of access to collaborative knowledge, resulting in increased productivity for all. Collaboration is a key element in cost reduction and increasing collective benefits, and this Plan is the right tool to promote it.

To understand how this Plan is structured, the previous pillars are detailed below.

I. Establishing a sustainable support infrastructure for all activities.

The first step towards implementing this vertical is the creation and development of a digital platform that integrates all other utilities. It will be used to disseminate, manage, and monitor all initiatives of the AI Center, both in terms of projects from each specific area and as a source of data and information. All involved stakeholders will have access to specific areas through the platform, including FAPESP, MCTIC, ICTs, managers, companies, students, and the Federal Government. Technical project data (KPIs, productivity, quality, etc.), personnel information (employability, number of qualified and trained individuals), and other relevant information will be available on the platform. In this regard, IPT's education department already has a digital academic control platform, similar to the one proposed here, which can be further adapted and improved. The Integrated Support System for Education (Sapiens) can be quickly adapted for academic control of the courses offered by the Center. It is a comprehensive platform that provides information to students and teachers, from the selection process to course completion. It also handles financial aspects related to tuition fees, payments, and instructor compensation.

Furthermore, we have plans to create an electronic magazine for showcasing results and promoting events and content. The IPT Magazine, which aims to disseminate technical information and knowledge, can be used for this purpose. It will include project or service reports (while respecting confidentiality conditions), results from funded research projects, and any other developments in technologies or services.

To follow an increasingly objective and efficient plan, it is important to define knowledge trails. These trails refer to a way of organizing training programs that integrate technical, administrative, and behavioral development. They will be executed in a virtual environment, in which the user can navigate through their profile, choosing the activities that will compose their knowledge trail and self-managing it. The user will be able to follow different "paths" within this environment. The trail will include various types of actions (videos, training recommendations, book and article readings, suggestions for participation in conferences, in-person courses, online lectures, among others), all aimed at the development of the participant and their ability to generate more innovation.

The development of remote use tools includes educational games, virtual simulators and applications using computer vision, virtual reality and augmented reality, in order to put all professionals, new research and the whole society in contact with this theme, disseminating the concepts and allowing the formation of minds at all levels of society and researchers. The Facens University Center has an Innovation Center in Gamification that has been carrying out this type of activities for a long time, and can provide specific material and content for this.

In general, it is important to achieve a structure that encompasses all levels of knowledge, for all ages and all of society, in order to be able to promote learning throughout life, in all aspects (lifelong learning).

II. Technical mindset training

At this point in the Plan, we intend to promote activities that reach all ages, academic levels, and all of society with the concepts of Industry 4.0, preparing people for this great "revolution."

In this sense, the development of webinars is a very simple and inexpensive tool to massify concepts, allowing access to the entire society. The use of Internet tools is already known and the teachers, in each area, are already available. A knowledge trail will be prepared and made available to those who want to follow it.

Covering the entire society, it is expected that there will be a knowledge trail, from early childhood to university education (Flor, 2020), including courses and activities related to each age and level of education. In Early Childhood, from 0 to 5 years old, the child seeks to "live, participate, explore and know." They are playful activities in which the child can have contact with physical technologies and mobile apps. An example is the use of the “Lego Mindstorms kit” so that the child can prove science and have their first contact with robotics, control systems, conveyor belts, etc. From 6 to 14 years old, the student must be exposed to the thematic units, in order to establish knowledge goals and the development of skills. The movement called STEM is concerned with encouraging children, from a young age, to develop a passion and the dream of having a career in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (DeJarnette, 2012). Again, the use of “Lego Mindstorms” is interesting, but now aiming at the construction of devices and the programming of actuators. Thinking about high school, with young people aged from 15 to 17, this aims to provide a basic preparation for work and for citizenship. Students and teachers should aim at complex problems and logical reasoning. For the students of these grades, practical activities in professional laboratories are desirable, as well as the development of prototypes with “Arduino” and “Intel Galileo”, as well as more sophisticated applications, including computer vision, using the “Qualcomm – Dragonboard” and “Dragonfly boards” (WEForum, 2016).

Considering career fairs, we intend to work more and more in partnership, with a focus on promoting and disseminating this type of activity, using the "Uniexpo" as a base model. In events organization (symposia, workshops, etc.), we intend to implement an International Symposium on AI (Industry 4.0), as well as projects developed with partners. Still, every year, the AI Center will launch artificial intelligence challenges, so that students and startups can develop a project in the area. The challenges will come from real-world applicability cases presented by partner companies. There will be support for teams to conceive and implement the project, with access to academic and business mentors, entrepreneurial training, etc. The best projects will be awarded at an annual ceremony, with the participation of the senior management of the participating companies and the most renowned researchers in the field. Wide dissemination will be given through social media, seeking to popularize the topic and especially popularize it in the heart of society.

III. Academic training

When we strongly consider distance learning (DL), we see that it is possible to adapt a number of currently existing courses in order to be shared through internet tools. In particular, the Facens University Center already has several successful experiences and is working to make its content generation and gamification team available to implement and adapt other courses. As examples, we can cite the "MBA in Management and Innovation in Smart Cities" and "Specialization in Cybersecurity". In addition, it is understood that all the drivers cited by Schwab (2017) can be taught, part remotely and with a very small part in person.

In addition, personalized courses can be developed and offered "in-company" or "at the University", with the attention to specific demands of companies. These will be able to develop specific educational solutions for professional development in accordance with the client's strategies, addressing well-defined and specific topics in a particular area of knowledge and should be linked to technological issues of interest. Thus, they will meet the companies involved in the Project, filling existing knowledge gaps and preparing different levels of employees and/or decision-making levels.

Considering academic courses, in MBA (latu sensu), extension and strictu sensu, we understand that greater visibility should be provided. Currently, the latu sensu specialization and improvement courses already offered by IPT have as general objectives to improve and qualify professionals in specific areas, contributing to the professional and personal development of students. IPT already offers 9 specialization courses, while at Facens University Center there are many others, such as Specialization in Advanced Manufacturing and Industry 4.0, Specialization in Industrial Control and Automation Engineering, Specialization in Data Science with international certification in big data, etc. UTFPR also developed a Specialization course (360 hours) in Industry 4.0 In Company at Klabin.

With regard to extension courses (short duration), these address specific topics in a particular area of knowledge, prioritizing practical application and enabling the development of technical and scientific skills to participants. IPT already offers, annually, 20 different courses, highlighting: Data Science, Deep-learning and Technologies Applied to Operational Research.

For stricto sensu courses, these must be strengthened with the objective of training professionals for: Development and application of methodologies, techniques and processes; Training of professors and researchers at the master's and doctoral level, aiming at the generation and dissemination of knowledge linked to scientific-technological complexes, emphasizing its interaction with the Brazilian economic and socio-environmental reality; Fostering research and technological innovation; and Contribute to increasing competitiveness and productivity in companies, public and private organizations. UTFPR and IPT already offer master's programs in Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Production Engineering. In particular, the Professional Master's Degree is a postgraduate modality structured to train masters capable of planning and developing innovative and technology-based projects, aiming at the practical solution of problems in companies, which we believe to be very valuable.

For technical courses, it is intended to study and propose lines of technological development, as well as guide the needs for training in competencies and skills according to the World Economic Forum and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is possible to propose the creation of a series of professional vocational courses focused on the 4th Industrial Revolution, such as: Technician in Industrial Robot Programming, Technician in Industrial Robot Maintenance, Technician in Supervisory System Implementation, Technician in Industrial Network Infrastructure, Technician in Sensor Installation, Technician in Operation of Intelligent Systems and Technician in Implementation of Artificial Intelligence Systems.

Finally, as for vocational education, this is a predominant modality taught at SEBRAE, SENAI and SESI. In this scenario, the proposal of courses is more than necessary to allow people to use new technologies, with intensive and immersive use in educational and/or professional laboratory structures, so that, at the end of each stage, the person is able to employ efforts directly in work environments, mainly industries (CANALI, 2009).

IV. Implementation of applied research in a real facility

The first step for this type of implementation is the development of in-company projects and testbeds. These prototypes will be developed through real world, hands-on cases with multidisciplinary teams of professors and students involved. The results obtained in 82 projects at UTFPR-PG showed that, in all cases, the results were superior to the expectations of the companies participating in the testbeds. In addition, a typical case is the SAMBA project, a low-cost interaction between the Facens University Center/Company/Fraunhofer. In this case, the company lists an application point and jointly develops the analysis and training of employees, with a critical view for expansion in other areas of the company.

In addition to the projects and testbeds in the company, it is necessary to develop and implement concept demonstrators in ICTs, in order to multiply and demonstrate knowledge, as well as to have a free path to highlight, in practice, the differential provided by the use of Industry 4.0 for students, researchers and employees. In addition, it will be a typical plant to implement modifications and modernize the structure, in order to enable its evolution, improving its performance, before taking it to real factories in the industry.

In this way, after exploring each of the four "verticals" in detail, it is possible to conclude that a wide spectrum of possibilities is being proposed for the sharing of knowledge, with different levels of depth, depending on the degree of confidentiality of the topic. Nevertheless, what we propose here is a broad dissemination of the concepts, allowing the entire society to have access to them, popularizing Industry 4.0 in order to make it simple and comprehensive for all citizens.


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