Finland seeks to educate 1% of European citizens in the basics of Artificial Intelligence to bring to the EU an understanding and capability to match China and the USA in these applications.
NORMALISING ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
In what is often dubbed the “Finnish Miracle,” Finland transformed itself after World War II from a poor rural, agricultural society, to one of the most prosperous and technologically advanced nations in the world. Finns achieved this without oil or huge financial investment, but with strategic investments in research, development, and education. Investing in education is deeply rooted in the Finnish DNA. Finland thinks that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is too important to be left in the hands of a few elite programmers. The country wants to enable normal people, like dentists and plumbers, to discover the possibilities AI offers, and realise its potentials in our daily lives. It wants to empower people not to feel threatened by this new technology, so that they can make informed decisions about its use on their own terms.
INVESTING IN FUTURE SKILLS
It has been customary for countries holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union to hand out gifts at the end of the Presidency. Normally, these items have been the likes of ties and scarves. In 2019, Finland wanted to provide an extraordinary gift to the whole European population by making the award winning "Elements of AI" course available across the union, translating it into all official EU languages. The ambitious goal is to educate 1% of European citizens on the basics of AI by 2021.
KNOWLEDGE LEADS TO EMPOWERMENT
The purpose of the course is to equip all European citizens with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about artificial intelligence, to harness this new technology for the benefit of Europe and their respective nations, matching the upcoming trends in China and the US. By July 2020, 450,000 people had already signed up for this free course.