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This free Finnish course answers all your questions about AI

AI is becoming a bigger part of our world and now, thanks to Finland, you can learn all about it for free. 

The free online course launched last year and was originally intended as a learning tool solely for Finnish citizens, but now it’s available to everyone.

You can set a 5 week deadline, or undertake the course at your own speed. It’s up to you, but the site reminds users that they’re more likely to complete the course if they do set the deadline.

The course claims that “the legacy of science fiction” has muddied many people’s understanding of AI, with its creators hoping to undo some common misconceptions surrounding AI technologies.

A picture of a chapter about what is AI in Element of AI

The course breaks down potential concerns about AI and asks some of the big questions surrounding the developing technology.

I tried the early stages and found that self-driving cars were first on the menu. The subject has made headlines so regularly that this seems to make sense. If their development continues at the same speed, people may need to understand self-driving cars sooner rather than later.

One early segment asks: “What is, and what isn’t AI? Not an easy question!” Before going on to explain: “The popularity of AI in the media is in part due to the fact that people have started using the term when they refer to things that used to be called by other names. You can see almost anything from statistics and business analytics to manually encoded if-then rules called AI.

At a glance, this course looks like a valuable learning tool. At a time when AI is filtering into more and more aspects of our lives, and being discussed increasingly widely, learning tools like this can combat the spread of fake news and help to inform people’s decisions.

Hopefully, this course and tools like it will also help people make more informed decisions when purchasing products. With self-driving cars, smart-home tech and much more AI-powered tech developing all the time, it’s more important than ever that people understand the capabilities of AI.

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