Key messages and Q&A



  • As AI’s going to impact every industry and individual, everyone should have an opportunity to understand what it really is and how we can use it. We’re on a mission to democratize the information and empower people to shape the future both in private and public sector.

  • We want to give all people the ability to participate as informed citizens in a rapidly evolving globalised society. Elements of AI explains the implications of AI in real everyday situations with interactive exercises, so that students can make informed decisions as workers, as voters, and as media and product consumers.

  • By focusing on those most often left out of technology discussions, we have democratised access on a level unmatched by any Computer Science curriculum, nearly 40% of participants are women, and over 25% are over the age of 45. 

  • Let’s take the fear out of AI. We believe technology is nothing to be afraid of. Instead, people should be encouraged to understand how it works and what the humankind can achieve with it, while also recognizing its limitations. There’s a huge buzz surrounding AI but not enough knowledge about it – we want to change that.

European Commission – the Digital Economy and Society Index report 2018:

  • The Finnish population has the highest level of basic and advanced digital skills in Europe.
  • 35% of the EU labour force do not have the basic digital skills now required in most jobs
  • Employment of ICT specialists in the EU grew by 500,000 between 2015 and 2016 to reach 8.2 million workers
  • 83 % of all ICT specialists employed in the EU in 2016 were men
  • The highest shares of ICT specialists in total employment were recorded in Finland (6.6 %) 

Why did Reaktor and University want to do this together?

There’s a huge buzz surrounding AI but not enough knowledge about it – we want to change that. This is our way of giving back to the community and do good.

We joined forces because we felt our skills complemented each other. The University of Helsinki has top-notch know-how in pedagogy and a long track record in educating top people, while Reaktor offers insight into the world of global business and sheds light on some of the world's most impressive real-life applications. 


General

What gap is the course filling?

While there are many AI courses online, many if not all of them require programming or extensive math skills, which leaves out the majority of the general population. Elements of AI is meant for anyone interested in the topic, equipping participants with the understanding and skill sets required for assessing the world we live in through the lens of AI. 

University-level education is also expensive in many parts of the world. The Elements of AI is designed to be free and open to anyone. We hope that the course can genuinely democratize AI and give everyone tools to take part in shaping the future regardless of their income level or social class.

Who is the course aimed at?

Anyone who is interested in AI. Lots of people want to learn what AI is because they think it will be a big deal in the future. They want to know how AI will affect their lives and how they can make use of it.

Over 505,000 have already enrolled in the course from all demographic groups, from people aged 20 to 75 year-old, from +160 countries. They are business managers, the unemployed, day care workers and dentists - people with very different backgrounds. 

What will they learn?

All participants will learn the very basics of AI. Comprised of six sections, the course sheds light on various aspects of AI, including definitions, neural networks, machine learning and societal implications.

How long does the course take to complete?

The course is estimated to take about 30 to 60 hours to complete in total. Each part should take from 5 to 10 hours. 

While the course doesn’t require any programming skills, people with a technical background or experience in online learning may be able to progress faster.

Why are people taking the course? 

Lots of people want to learn what AI is because they think it will be a big deal in the future. They want to know how AI will affect their lives and how they can make use of it.

How will it help them in the real world?

Focusing on applicability and shifting away from complex theory, the course equips participants with the understanding and skill sets required for assessing the world we live in through the lens of AI.
 

The course ensures people can take an active role in shaping the future and the modern society even though they're not top AI experts. From a company perspective, it means people can actively look for new business opportunities and ways of improving the company's current processes, which should strengthen their competitive edge in the long run.

University of Helsinki       Reaktor    Connect University       eSkills Malta Foundation      University of Malta       European Commission
​​

Elements of AI - The AI Challenge