As a front-end developer, I happen to hear these terms quite often: Deep learning, machine learning, neuroscience, … However, I did not have any knowledge nor considerable experience in these fields. Also, when you don’t know something, it scares you even more, because fear leads to the dark side.

Many developers have the fear of replacement in the future. We fear that artificial intelligence may suddenly cast us out. This is certainly because of the ignorant and lazy man inside of us all. Therefore, I decided to thinner this grumpy man’s voice in me and followed the artificial intelligence course created by University of Helsinki and reaktor.com.

Course Content

Elements of AI will introduce you common AI patterns, terminology, problem solving techniques and many other theoretical topics that you should cover. Their curriculum is well organised and comprehensive. All in all, this beginner course helps you build fundamental knowledge to start your AI development career. On the other hand, the creators of the course aimed to target a broad range of individuals. Therefore, it is not specifically tailored for programmers or other IT roles. So, you don’t have to have programming skills. However, if you are already an IT professional, this is a big plus to comprehend the discussions.

Here is a list of my favourite topics throughout the course:

  • How to define AI?
  • AI for board games like tic-tac-toe, go, chess.
  • Why we should use different methods to solve different problems?
  • How can we reach for General AI?
  • AI Winter
  • The Bayes Rule
  • The types of machine learning
  • Neural networks

Exercise Tips

You will be asked to complete some exercises on almost every section. Most of them are tests that can be answered with some radio buttons. However, I recommend you to be careful while answering the questions. Not all of them are easy to answer and there are some tricky questions. So, think twice before pressing the submit button. I got 85% success rate, but it would be higher if I were more careful and patient before making my mind about the answers.

The course also provides some open-ended questions. Elements of AI created a smart solution to review the answers. They use the other students’ judgment to score one another. For example, after you write your answer (several paragraphs) for an open-ended questions, you are required to review 3 other students’ answers for the same question. So that, the community builds a fair and reliable control mechanism for itself.

After the course completion, you will receive a free digital certificate approved by University of Helsinki. Of course, the certificate is just a make up. What you have learnt and what you will do with gained knowledge is way more significant than a piece of paper. However, this certificate might have academic value for university students. Elements of AI grants you 2 ECTS credits. According to the info on their website, these credits are only valid in Finland, but you may try to convince your faculty in another EU country. Just try.

What’s next?

I have been informed by Elements of AI, thanks to the continuous growth environment of Fremtind AS. My colleague Berit Klundseter dropped an introductory post about this course via Fremtind’s social network. Then, I talked to our Senior Machine Learning Engineer Emanuele Lapponi and he recommended another course where I could program some practical cases. So, my AI journey continues with the support of my colleagues.

I hope this post made you curious about AI topic and if you also have dedication to finish the course, may the force be with you! 🙂

Sercan Leylek

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