Elements of AI has introduced one million people to the basics of artificial intelligence

by | 22.05.2023

The Elements of AI is an online course that provides easy-to-understand information and practical examples on the topic of artificial intelligence. The University of Helsinki and MinnaLearn launched the course in 2018 with a mission to educate one percent of the Finnish population about the basics of artificial intelligence. Due to high demand, the course was quickly translated into several other languages and has now become a global success with over one million participants worldwide.

“One million course participants is a major milestone in our effort to provide accessible education on AI to everyone. Given the recent surge of new AI applications that are bringing the technology closer to the daily lives of more and more people, understanding AI and its implementation is more crucial than ever before,” says Ville Valtonen, founder and CEO of MinnaLearn.

“Artificial intelligence has become an integral part of our lives since the course was planned five years ago. Today, many AI applications, such as text generation, have become commonplace for many. It is crucial to both understand the potential of AI and learn to approach it critically,” says Teemu Roos, the lead instructor and professor at the University of Helsinki and the Finnish Center for Artificial Intelligence FCAI.

Localization expands access to AI knowledge to a broad global audience

Elements of AI has been successfully translated into 26 languages and localized in 30 different countries in partnership with local universities and businesses. Course participants come from 170 countries worldwide.

“When we have information available in different languages, more people can participate in the change brought by artificial intelligence. Learning concepts in one’s own language makes it easier to discuss and comprehend artificial intelligence. We are constantly having discussions about launching the course in new countries,” says Ville Valtonen.

“It’s also important to improve the level of AI skills in Europe in order to maintain digital independence and remain competitive in this field. Finland, in particular, has become a hub of top-class AI expertise and companies. We have every opportunity to be at the forefront of global AI development,” says Teemu Roos.

New offering for businesses

In Finland alone, already 250 companies have trained their employees in the basics of artificial intelligence with the help of the course.

Elements of AI continues to provide education on the fundamentals of artificial intelligence and to develop the course further to cater to the needs of businesses. Based on the contents of Elements of AI, MinnaLearn has developed a learning journey, Elements of AI for Business, that helps to better understand the impacts of AI systems and their opportunities from a business point of view. In essence, MinnaLearn offers tailored learning groups in which teams can explore opportunities that AI brings to their work, grounding on the theoretical understanding from the course. Read more about Elements of AI for Business and the Learning Kit.

Elements of AI in brief

  • Elements of AI is a free online course that offers easy-to-understand information and practical exercises on the basics of artificial intelligence.
  • The course was created by the University of Helsinki and MinnaLearn in 2018.
  • The course includes self-study resources, interactive content, and tasks that require approximately 30 hours of work. Students learn about artificial intelligence concepts, usage methods, and limitations. The course is suitable for anyone interested in learning the basics of AI regardless of their coding skills.
  • Elements of AI has become one of the most popular online courses in the world with more than one million people from 170 countries having signed up for it. The course has been localized in 30 different countries and is available in 26 languages.
  • The course has attracted a diverse group of users. Women make up 40% of the course participants, and over 25% of the users are over 45 years old.
  • In 2019, Elements of AI was selected as the best computer science online course in the world, when it took first place among Class Central’s 1167 online courses.
  • Anyone can take the course for free at elementsofai.com

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