Artificial intelligence (AI) is present in many aspects of our daily lives. However, the general knowledge about it is limited. That is why there is now the 'Nationale AI-cursus' a free online course for all Dutch people, about the basic principles of AI. The University of Amsterdam is one of the partners, and UvA-researchers Rianne van den Berg, Maarten de Rijke, Cees Snoek and Max Welling provide lessons in the course.
Behind the scenes, work had been going on for months. Just before Christmas it was launched: the National AI course for all Dutch people. The aim of the course is to inform as many Dutch people as possible about the basic principles of artificial intelligence. The initiators hope to reach 1% of the Dutch population with the online course.
'Artificial intelligence is no longer something of the future. It is intertwined in all aspects of daily life,', said founder Jim Stolze. 'From (almost) self-driving cars to the newsfeed of Facebook. Everything that has an electrical plug can eventually become a self-learning system.
The course is deliberately aimed at all Dutch people. 'How does it work under the hood? Who is responsible? How do you prevent algorithms from contributing to increasing inequality or creating uniformity? Crucial questions! In the Netherlands everyone has an opinion, but few people have real knowledge of this matter. By offering a basic course to all Dutch people, we can at least step into these discussions well informed.'
The course is based on a similar initiative in Finland, supplemented by contributions from top Dutch experts: Catholijn Jonker (TU Delft), Cees Snoek (University of Amsterdam), Evert Haasdijk (Deloitte), Jeroen van den Hoven (TU Delft), Maarten de Rijke (University of Amsterdam), Marlies van Eck (Leiden University), Max Welling (University of Amsterdam), Mireille Hildebrandt (Vrije Universiteit Brussel), Pim Haselager (Thunder Institute for Brain cognition and behavior), Rianne van den Berg (University of Amsterdam), Roel Schutgens (Radboud University Nijmegen), Tom Heskes (Radboud University Nijmegen) and Valerie Frissen (Leiden University).
Registration for the course is open on www.ai-cursus.nl. You can participate via your PC, but also via your phone or a tablet. The course is entirely in Dutch. It consists of eight tracks:
1. A look into the world of AI
2. What is AI?
3. Is a search engine also AI?
4. Machine learning
5. Deep learning
6. AI in daily life
7.AI and the rules
8.The work of the future
The course lasts four to five hours in total. Participants who have completed all tracks will receive a certificate.
The course is inspired by the Finnish 'Elements of AI'. The University of Helsinki developed an AI course for all Finns. In May 2018, Jim Stolze proposed in the newspaper Financieel Dagblad to bring parties together for a similar initiative in the Netherlands. 'I really did not expect that call to generate so much enthusiasm. The fact that so many parties are behind it means that we are likely to achieve our goal: making everyone in the Netherlands familiar with the phenomenon called AI. There is so much talk about it, with this course we will just do it.'
The National AI Course is an initiative of AI for Good, ICAI and Elephant Road. The program was co-created by Ahold Delhaize, Deloitte, ELaw Leiden, FME / UPgrade NL, Pon, Rabobank, Radboud University, TU Delft Design for Values, University of Helsinki, University of Amsterdam and Wolters Kluwer and made possible by Brainport Eindhoven, Capgemini, Cor Wit Fund, Think Productions, ECP, Intel, Level V, LEWIS, RMMBR, Rijks Academy for Digitalisation and Computerization Government (RADIO) of the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, Samsung, Stichting GO Fonds, VNO-NCW SME The Netherlands, Vogin and Zadkine.