The story of an Ericsson Research internship: AI, mixed reality, and computer vision

Each year, the Ericsson internship program offers students worldwide an opportunity to experience a workplace which is truly changing the world. Recently, Jiangpeng Tao joined Ericsson Research to test life as a researcher in the industry – working daily on projects involving AI, mixed reality, and computer vision. This is his story.

Taking photo of the system

Life as a research intern at Ericsson

Before joining Ericsson, my research experience was limited to laboratory work at the university. I am eager to engage in enterprise level projects and learn how to balance research with practical issues, such as user demand and production cost. That's why, for me, Ericsson has always been one of the dream places to work. When I found that Ericsson Research offering research internships, working with intriguing and cutting-edge projects in computer vision, I applied for the summer internship without hesitation.

A research internship with a difference

Throughout the research internship, I worked as part of a team which was developing an augmented reality (AR) assistant for Ericsson's Radio System. The mobile intelligent assistant can help engineers to automatically diagnose issues and offer effective advice, thereby reducing time and human cost in installation, configuration and maintenance. To make this happen, the mobile application should recognize and localize various components of a radio base station.

My team designed a visual object detector based on Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) architecture. Although the detector delivered satisfactory performance, it remained difficult to run on a mobile device because of relatively high calculation complexity. As part of my research internship, my primary task was to help the team train and optimize alternative detector architectures that could run on a smartphone or tablet, while still maintaining accuracy.

From the first day, my internship at Ericsson Research was filled with rewarding work and enthusiasm.

A technical and innovative workplace

Collaborating with experienced researchers, I always received helpful and positive advice. My teammates also helped me to avoid spending too much time on basic tasks, such as setting up an experimental environment, which allowed me to focus more on the essential research. As a fledgling researcher, I sometimes made mistakes in methodology and had no clear understanding of the industrial limitation and applicability of some techniques. But by discussing with my colleagues, I was able to learn a lot from their extensive insights.

Through an Ericsson internship, I was given the freedom to express and apply my thoughts across a range of exciting projects. Even when my ideas were sometimes impractical and not fully thought-through, my mentor and colleagues were there to listen and get my ideas into shape. My team didn't push me too hard, but instead trusted and offered me time and space to grow.

As an engineering student, what excites me the most is immersing myself in a technical and innovative environment. During my time at Ericsson Research, I had the opportunity to engage also with other teams, and , in doing so, learn more about different intriguing technologies, such as mixed reality, quadrotors, and speech recognition.

My internship at Ericsson was truly a valuable experience which has helped me to grow personally and professionally.

Change the world with us

Want to join an internship where you can really make a difference to everyday life in cities, societies and remote communities around the world? Offering an experience which genuinely benefits your longer-term career prospects, the Ericsson internship program invites applications from students of diverse backgrounds, from across all areas of study, for every area of our business, including: Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Information Technology, Management, Information Systems, Business, Finance/Accounting, Marketing and Human Resource Management.

Find out more by visiting the Ericsson internship page today.

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