This six-week training program was intended to help Finnish citizens educate themselves about artificial intelligence, but in a recent announcement, authorities have made it universally availability.
The course, Elements of AI was designed and implemented by the University of Helsinki and is currently available in five languages - English, Swedish, Estonian, Finnish and German and according to reports, in excess of 1% of the Finnish population has already signed up. The web site claims that there are over 220,000 students registered for the course.
The course will be available in all EU languages by the end of 2021 (the site lists 26 languages not currently supported).
Finland is relinquishing the EU Presidency at the end of 2019 and decided to offer this course as a gift to the European Union, however, as there are no restrictions as to who in the world can undertake the course, it is available to everyone.
The course has six modules, designed to take between 5 and 10 hours to complete and includes short tests to confirm understanding of the various topics. For some students, degree credit is available for successful completion.
Subjects range from the philosophical implications of AI to more technical material such as Bayesian probability, Neural Networks and Machine Learning.
According to the site's help page, "The course was designed by Reaktor and the University of Helsinki. The lead instructor of the course is Associate Professor Teemu Roos. The creator of the original course concept is Ville Valtonen, Head of Online Education at Reaktor. The course is a part of the AI Education programme of the Finnish Centre for AI, and offered in cooperation with The Open University, and Mooc.fi.
The web site states, "The Finnish Presidency of the Council of the EU has decided to invest in people's future skills and will make the Elements of AI online course freely available in all official EU languages. The technical language translation has been provided by the Directorate-General for Translation of the European Commission.
"Our ambitious goal is to educate 1 % of European citizens by 2021. We will start launching new languages during the spring of 2020."
The author intends to complete the course and will offer a comment once completed.