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  • Finland offers free online Artificial Intelligence course to anyone, anywhere

    Helsinki University and tech strategy firm Reaktor say they want to make Finland the world's most educated country in the field of artificial intelligence.


    The academic and business partners say they want Finland to become forerunners in AI, and have developed an online course covering the quickly-growing technology open to anyone, free of charge.

    "The Elements of Artificial Intelligence" online course is entirely in English and offered to people who are interested in learning more about AI.

    User interface designer at Reaktor Janina Fagerlund says people might not know it, bu their lives are already affected - one way or another - by AI every single day.

    As a perhaps unexpected example, Fagerlund says that AI is used in industrial food production to sort produce and other items at food processing facilities. Most people know that self-driving cars use the technology but some may not be aware that AI is used by tech firms such as Facebook and Google to identify faces and other objects in photographs.

    Fagerlund says AI will have as big a revolutionary impact on the world as electricity did towards the end of the 19th century.

    "It's a new and cool discovery, but no one yet knows what it can be used for, or what impact it will have in practice," she says.

    The University of Helsinki has offered a course in AI for the past few years. Due to increased interest in the subject, the institution collaborated with Reaktor to create an online course to meet the growing demand.

    Free course, credits count for some in Finland

    The course, which went live this week, has no prerequisites, is free of charge and open to anyone around the world.

    The coursework takes about 30 hours to complete and students in Finland can even earn two ECTS academic credits through the Open University. Thouse outside Finland who've successfully completed the course are able to receive a certificate to post on their LinkedIn page.

    Fagerlund participated in the creation of the course and says it is meant to dispel the mystery surrounding the technology and raise discussion about it, as well.

    "We want to show that there's nothing particularly remarkable about AI, it's just about different ways of solving problems," she explains.

    She also says there's no uniform definition of what, exactly, artificial intelligence is, apart from the terms "artificial" and "intelligent."

    She says the technology is created by programmers and - unlike traditional computer programs - devices are programmed to carry out tasks, but then AI-powered machines are able to teach themselves how to do those tasks better - autonomously.

    She says the tens of thousands of people who've already enrolled in the course are from all demographic groups.

    "The fact is that we have 24,000 enrolees in the course and when we looked at who was signing up, we saw that they're from every age group, from people below the age of 20 up to 75 year-olds. They are professors, the unemployed, day care workers and dentists - people with very different backgrounds," she says.

    But despite their differences, the new students of AI share common motives, she says.

    "Everyone wants to learn what AI is because they think it will be a big deal in the future. They want to know how AI will affect their lives and how they can make use of it," Fagerlund says.

    For her own part, Fagerlund hopes that major societal problems such as carbon emissions could be addressed with the help of AI.

    Svenska Yle



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  • Facebook announced new Dating Application 2018


    Above: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg rolls out Dating for Facebook at F8, May 1, 2018.

    Image Credit: Khari Johnson / VentureBeat

    Facebook today announced plans to bring dating services to the Facebook app. Dating on Facebook will utilize Facebook’s social graph to identify potential matches. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said people won’t be matched with friends, and your friends won’t be able to see your dating profile.

    “This is going to be for real long-term relationships, not just for hookups,” Zuckerberg said onstage at F8, Facebook’s annual developer conference being held today and tomorrow, May 1 and 2, at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California.

    Also announced today: Facebook’s wireless VR device Oculus Go on sales for the first time, augmented reality is coming to Facebook Messenger and Instagram, and a “Clear history” tool was introduced for users concerned with sharing their activity with the social media giant.

    Roughly 200 million Facebook users list themselves as single in their relationship status, a Facebook spokesperson told VentureBeat in an email.

    Dating profiles can be created by tapping the heart icon at the top right-hand corner of your user profile.

    Users will have to opt in to create a dating profile and to be seen by people around them. Dating profiles only share a user’s first name. Users will also have the choice to unlock their dating profile for nearby groups and events in order to meet people with similar interests.

    “We like this because it mirrors in the way that people actually date, which is usually at events or institutions they know,” chief product officer Chris Cox said.

    Dating matches can chat and send text-only messages in a chat experience that does not connect with Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp.

    “We hope this will help more folks meet and find more partners. We’re excited to share a lot more on this in the next few months,” Cox said.




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