Announcements, Business, Technology

Democratizing AI – Finland offers free AI education to every EU citizen

December 10, 2019

Read time 3 min

Finland will provide European citizens with free access to the Elements of AI, the groundbreaking online course made by Reaktor and the University of Helsinki. The course will be made available in all the official EU languages. The technical language translation has been provided by the Directorate-General for Translation of the European Commission. This initiative by the Finnish Presidency aims to respond to the challenges posed by the transformation of work and to reinforce the digital leadership of the EU.

Every great leap in human history has come hand in hand with a growth in the democratisation of knowledge and access to education. The recent proliferation of online learning has helped make this possible again in the 21st century – but until now for many people, one of the great bottlenecks in technology education has been knowing where to start.

The amount of information online is so overwhelming and advancing so quickly that technology, particularly artificial intelligence, can feel like an insider’s club that has left the majority of us behind.

For this reason, Reaktor, a private sector technology consultancy, and the University of Helsinki, the oldest university in Finland, decided to join forces to prove that AI should not be left in the hands of only a few elite coders.

Empowering people across demographics

Together, we created the Elements of AI, an online course designed specifically for those who have felt left out of technology discussions. Our numbers tell the best story that we could have hoped for: so far, the course has over 220,000 students worldwide. Over 40% of our course takers are women (more than doubling the global Computer Science average) and over 25% are over the age of 45. 

With Elements, we took an often-intimidating subject and made it more accessible, easily digestible, and user-friendly for today’s learners and their hectic modern lifestyles.

Most importantly, with the help of focus groups made up of participants from across demographics, we succeeded in creating something empowering that puts the tools of awareness and understanding squarely in the hands of those AI will affect most: real people.

Future Skills for a current reality

These breakthroughs in democratising technology education are more crucial now than ever. In our rapidly-evolving globalised economy, the reality of re-skilling and re-invention are scary things that will affect an ever-increasing mass of people across sectors. Jobs are evolving so quickly and AI-enabled technologies are being implemented so universally, that keeping up with it all can feel futile.

But with the Elements of AI, we have demonstrated that the basic concepts of AI and its implications are easily and widely understandable on a level that empowers average citizens to have a voice – and to make a difference. The end result is that people can gain the knowledge they need to be part of the discussion, use a common language, and speak for themselves as voters, consumers, viewers of media, workers, and entrepreneurs.

As we have seen again and again, the democratisation of knowledge is a catalyst for great leaps in human achievement. That’s why Reaktor Education and The University of Helsinki are thanking Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the EU for making it possible to spread our movement from educating 1% of Finland’s population to educating 1% of the European population on the basics of AI by 2021.

Societal Impact for years to come –
Reaktor Education 

From deep-tech backend frameworks to human-centered design, Reaktor is revolutionizing online education, tailored to modern lifestyles and built on the latest technology.

Our course collaborations, built with global experts on our custom platform, are launched in conjunction with public grassroots campaigns aimed at democratising access to critical future skills for all citizens.

Our education technology consulting enables the world’s top digital education providers to scale to millions of users, with state-of-the-art authentication, continuous data protection, and multi-platform integrations.


Let’s make the future happen.

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