University of Helsinki Offers Free Ethics of AI Course Open To Public

The University of Helsinki is offering an ‘Ethics of AI’ course which hopes to help public administration, businesses, and the general public understand what the ethical use of artificial intelligence means and what it requires from both society and individuals. The course is in English, and is open and free to the public.

The course was designed in a partnership with the University and between the Cities of Helsinki, Amsterdam, and London, as well as Finland’s Ministry of Finance. It consists of seven sections, which include: defining AI ethics, the principles of beneficence and non-maleficence, accountability, transparency, human rights, fairness, and AI ethics in practice.

Practical cases have been provided by the project partners. As an example, the City of Helsinki provided a case used in the course which focuses on the use of artificial intelligence in social and healthcare services, as well as in forecasting the health risks of city residents.

“The City of Helsinki is developing digital services according to the mindset that they are making the lives of Helsinki residents easier and anticipating service needs. The widespread utilisation of digital services and artificial intelligence requires maintaining trust in the city’s operations. In the future, a certain level of understanding related to AI will be a civic skill. In terms of artificial intelligence, it’s essential to also consider ethical viewpoints,” Helsinki Mayor, Jan Vapaavuori, said.

Completing the course does not require coding skills or special technological expertise, but the University also offers a free, online introductory course – the Elements of AI – which provides an overview of the principles of artificial intelligence.