Finland aims to teach basics on artificial intelligence

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Finland, which holds the rotating EU presidency until the end of the year, said on Tuesday it aims to teach 1 percent of all Europeans basic skills in artificial intelligence through a free online course it will now translate into all official EU languages.

The European Union is pushing for wide deployment of artificial intelligence across the bloc, to help European companies catch up with rivals in Asia and the US.

“Our investment has three goals: we want to equip EU citizens with digital skills for the future, we wish 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,” said Finnish Minister of Employment Timo Harakka.

“As our Presidency ends, we want to offer something concrete. It’s about one of the most pressing challenges facing Europe and Finland today: how to develop our digital literacy,” Harakka said in a statement.

The course, conducted by the University of Helsinki and originally launched in 2018, already has enrolled more than 220,000 students from more than 110 countries.

It includes modules on subjects such as machine learning, neural networks, the philosophy of artificial intelligence and using artificial intelligence to solve problems.

The course is available in English, Finnish, Swedish and Estonian so far, and Finland will translate it to all official EU languages next year.

The original goal to educate 1 percent of Finns, equalling some 55,000 people, was reached in just a few months.

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