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Elements of AI
Type of site
|Created by||University of Helsinki and Reaktor, Inc.|
The Elements of AI
The Elements of AI is a massive open online course (MOOC) created by the University of Helsinki and design strategy company Reaktor, Inc.
The course is self-paced and offered free of charge to users around the world who register an account. In contrast to AI MOOCs offered by providers like Carnegie Mellon, the Elements of AI is aimed at beginners and assumes no prior knowledge of artificial intelligence.
The course is available in English, with a plan for offering a Finnish version later in 2018. The course creators have stated they want 1% of the Finnish population (approximately 54,000 people) to take the course in 2018.
The University of Helsinki decided to create a new open online course to demonstrate their commitment to online learning and AI was chosen as the topic as it is considered to be a key knowledge area. The course was developed by the University of Helsinki and design strategy company Reaktor and approximately 300 beta testers took part in the development of the course. The Elements of AI is a living course that is expected to be updated on a regular basis based on user feedback.
One of the stated goals of the course is to give non-experts deeper knowledge about AI so they can hold fact-based conversations about how AI might affect their communities. The course creators have stated that they want to make Finland the world's leading country when it comes to artificial intelligence.
The lead instructor for the course is associate professor Teemu Roos. Course advisors and supporters include Reaktor’s head of artificial intelligence Hanna Hagström, Nokia chair Risto Siilasmaa, Finnish Member of Parliament Elina Lepomäki, and the Rector of the University of Helsinki Jukka Kola.
Course structure and content
The course is divided into six parts. The first section explains what artificial intelligence is before looking into more specific topics like AI problem-solving capabilities, machine learning, and neural networks.
No prior knowledge of AI is expected and the course is designed to be completed without the need for programming or advanced math. After completing the course, users located in Finland are eligible to earn 2 ECTS credits through the Open University. All users who complete the course can earn a LinkedIn certificate.
As part of the goal of educating 1% of the Finnish population, a social media campaign based on the hashtag AIChallenge (tekoälyhaaste in Finnish) was launched in May 2018. The campaign encourages Finnish companies to train their staff in AI in 2018 and has received support from several large Finnish corporations including Fazer (food), Finnair (airlines), StoraEnso (pulp & paper), Elisa (telecoms), OP and Nordea (banking), and Kesko (retail).
- YLE staff (15 May 2018)"Finland offers free online Artificial Intelligence course to anyone, anywhere" YLE
- Moon, Mariella (20 May 2018) "Finnish university's online AI course is open to everyone" Engadget
- Lukkari, Jukaa (3 May 2018) "Tekoäly kiinnostaa: 10 000 ilmoittautunut Helsingin yliopiston ja Reaktorin kurssille – 'Suurimmalle osalle käsite on hähmäinen'" Tekniikka & Talous
- Lehti, Anu-Elina (3 May 2018) "Haluatko olla tulevaisuuden osaaja? Tämä maksuton verkkokurssi antaa perustiedot tekoälystä"Kauppalehti
- Nemo, Leslie (21 May 2018)"AI 101, Because We Can’t Escape the Inevitable (It’s Free Too)" Futurism
- "Tekoälyhaaste sai kymmenet tuhannet suomalaiset liikkeelle" Uusiteknologia
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