Finnish AI course goes multi-lingual during EU Presidency

The expansion of the popular AI course to include all official EU languages comes with a price tag of €1.5 million.

File picture of tech, AI or computers / Credit: iStock

A groundbreaking initiative to teach 1% of the Finnish population the basics of artificial intelligence is going to be spread across Europe.

The free online course Elements of AI was developed by the University of Helsinki and Finnish tech consultancy company Reaktor, and will be made available in all official EU languages.

The new expansion is an initiative of Finland’s six-month rotating Presidency of the European Council, with the goal now of teaching 1% of the EU’s population the basics of artificial intelligence.

“Our investment has three goals. We want to equip EU citizens with digital skills for the future; we want to increase practical understanding of what artificial intelligence is; and by doing so, we want to give a boost to the digital leadership of Europe” explains Timo Harakka (SDP), Minister of Transport and Communications.

The course offers information on AI without requiring any previous knowledge of the subject, or coding. So far the course has been published in English, Finnish, Swedish and Estonian.

Widening the project to include all EU languages, in conjunction with local universities throughout the European Union, will cost around €1.5 million.

“The Elements of AI course has been the most popular course in the history of the University of Helsinki” says Sari Lindblom, Vice-Rector at the University of Helsinki.

So far around 40% of the course’s participants have been women.