Finland is offering a hi-tech Christmas gift to all European Union citizens – a free-of-charge online course in artificial intelligence, in their own language, officials said on Tuesday.
The tech-savvy Nordic nation, led by the 34-year-old Prime Minister Sanna Marin, is marking the end of its rotating presidency of the EU at the end of the year with a highly ambitious goal.
Instead of handing out the usual ties and scarves to EU officials and journalists, the Finnish government has opted to give practical understanding of AI to 1 percent of all EU citizens – about five million people – through a basic online course by the end of 2021.
It is teaming up with the University of Helsinki, Finland’s largest and oldest academic institution, and the Finland-based tech consultancy Reaktor.
The course covers elementary AI concepts in a practical way and doesn’t go into deeper concepts like coding.
The initiative is paid for by the Finnish Ministry for Economic Affairs and Employment, and officials said the course is meant for all EU citizens – whatever their age, education or profession.
Since its launch in Finland in 2018 “The Elements of AI” has been phenomenally successful – the most popular course ever offered by the University of Helsinki, which traces its roots back to 1640 – with more than 220,000 students from over 110 countries having taken it so far online
Via Al Jazeera