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Finnish university's online AI course is open to everyone

Helsinki University in Finland has launched a course on artificial intelligence -- one that's completely free and open to everyone around the world. Unlike Carnegie Mellon's new undergrad degree in AI, which the institution created to train future experts in the field, Helsinki's offering is more of a beginner course for those who want to know more about it. A lot of tech giants like Google now have divisions working on artificial intelligence projects, and even whole non-tech industries already depend on AI for various tasks. But as Janina Fagerlund from the university's project partner (tech strategy firm Reaktor) said, people might not know that their lives are already affected by AI every day.

Fagerlund mentioned the use of AI in the food industry to sort produce and other items at facilities as an example. And while you know that Facebook uses AI for facial recognition, a lot of people might not. Indeed, Helsinki's course focuses on the basics, starting with defining what AI is and explaining how it can solve problems. The materials also discuss how AI is already used in the real world, and in the second part of the course, they explain how machine learning works and what neural networks are. It will apparently take you about 30 hours to complete the course, which can earn you two academic credits through the Open University if you're from Finland. If you live elsewhere, you'll just have to make do with a certificate you can display on LinkedIn.

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