Finland continues its quest to teach 1 % of the world the basics of AI – Open online course Building AI published

A new open online course by the University of Helsinki and technology company Reaktor explains the algorithms behind AI. Building AI is a sequel to Elements of AI, the international phenomenon that has been voted the world’s best computer science course.

As Artificial Intelligence impacts all industries and individuals, everyone should have an opportunity to understand what it is and how to use it. To democratize information and empower people to shape the future, the University of Helsinki and Reaktor now continue their quest to teach 1 % of the world the basics of AI.

The new massive open online course Building AI looks into the actual algorithms behind AI. Some basic Python programming skills are recommended to get the most out of the course, but it also offers exercises with no programming needed. The level of assignments can be changed over the duration of the course, which encourages students to pick the more challenging ones.

Continuation of Elements of AI

Building AI is a continuation of Elements of AI, the world’s first online course published in all official EU languages. With over half a million participants, Elements of AI has been voted the best AI course on Class Central and Forbes.

“Artificial intelligence appears in our lives, for example, as the recommendation algorithms of streaming services and facial recognition techniques. We wish to familiarize people with the tools used to create AI-based systems, engaging them in this societal transformation instead of people just adapting to the doings of a technological elite,” said Professor of Computer Science Teemu Roos from the University of Helsinki, Lead Instructor for Building AI. 

“Europe is only at the beginning of realizing how much is possible with AI. You can’t recognize the potential functions of Artificial Intelligence without getting to know the technology and context. That’s why we want to provide people with concrete tools to recognize these possibilities,” said Hanna Hagström, Business Director of AI at Reaktor.

The courses focus on people who are most often left out of technology discussions has paid off: Nearly 40% of participants in Elements of AI are women, and 25% are over the age of 45. Elements of AI also won the grand prize in MIT’s Inclusive Innovation Challenge in 2019. 

From Building AI, students can earn a maximum of two ECTS credits by completing the course, depending on the level of difficulty of the assignments. Students have the opportunity to purchase an official certificate of course completion for €50. The certificate is not a requirement, as the entire course can still be completed and the credits earned completely free of charge.

Along with the opening of the new course, the AI courses jointly designed by the University of Helsinki and Reaktor will constitute a whole comprising two courses: Elements of AI: Introduction to AI and the advanced course Elements of AI: Building AI.

Take part in Building AI

Read more about  Elements of AI