Popular AI basics course expanded with current topics and resources, Czech version adds tutorial videos

- press release - Elements of AI - a free online course on the basics of artificial intelligence - has been updated. The authors respond to last year's developments and the popularisation of AI tools like ChatGPT. Thanks to the national partner organisation prg.ai, the Czech version is among the first to offer new features and their localisation. At the same time, a series of accompanying videos are available to learners in Czech only, guided by researchers from the faculties of electrical engineering and information technology from CTU.

Originally a Finnish project, Elements of AI (EAI) offers the general public the opportunity to learn the basics of artificial intelligence. The recent, most significant course update to date reflects developments in large language models and the rapid spread of tools such as ChatGPT among people. It is an extension of EAI to include the latest findings in machine learning, neural networks, or the ethics and societal implications of AI.

Recommended resources for further study have been completely revised in each chapter. These have been specially compiled for the Czech version by the organisation prg.ai, which has been managing it since 2021. For those interested in getting into the world of AI, there are relevant expert texts, media articles and materials from various educational initiatives. The actual translation of the update was once again provided by subject matter specialists from the Institute of Formal and Applied Linguistics at the MFF UK, using artificial intelligence, of course.

The course was included among the selected online materials of the November Czech Digital Week (CDW) and continues to be part of the educational section of the eponymous portal. “I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the Elements of AI course and its update, which responds to the latest trends in artificial intelligence. The course provides a deep insight into the workings and principles of AI, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to understand this fascinating world better. At the same time, I am pleased that we have included a course of this type in our TDC offering,” says Deputy Prime Minister for Digitisation Ivan Bartoš.

A new series of accompanying videos, unique to the Czech version of the course, helps all learners master the EAI successfully. The six chapters of the course are guided by CTU researcher Jindřiška Deckerová from the Artificial Intelligence Centre of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in tandem with Sara Polak from the Faculty of Information Technology. The videos were created in cooperation between prg.ai, Czechitas and CTU FIT and will complement the course’s existing professional and community support.

“Although we are still far from our goal of educating 1% of the population, more than doubling the number of students this year is a great achievement. I believe that the continuous care given to the course on both our and the Finnish sides is what can motivate even more people to take up self-study,” adds prg.ai director Lukáš Kačena.

This May, EAI surpassed one million enrolled learners worldwide. In the Czech Republic, nearly 18,000 people are learning the basics of AI. Since the launch of the course in Czech, the localisation has over 2,300 graduates. Another 1,000 enrollees from the Czechia have graduated in other language versions. With a 20% completion rate, the Czech Republic still ranks top among other countries. The Czech version of EAI is financially supported by Amazon and Amazon Web Services.

“Artificial intelligence is a catalyst for progress in today’s world, and it is essential that it is accessible to the widest possible range of people. We believe that investing in education and spreading awareness of AI will positively impact economic growth and innovation in the Czech Republic. That is why we are proud to be a partner of the Czech version of Elements of AI,” said Kateřina Štechová, Public Policy Manager at Amazon.

EAI is currently a subject rewarded with ECTS at 13 universities across the Czech Republic. During this year, several companies and institutions have also included the course in their internal training. For example, EAI has attracted significant interest among employees of the Prague City Hall, where 150 of them have already enrolled.

Elements of AI was developed jointly by the University of Helsinki and MinnaLearn. During the Finnish Presidency of the European Union, the authors presented an initiative to translate the course into all EU languages.

The Czech version of the course was launched by prg.ai in 2021 in cooperation with the Czech Technical University and Charles University, with the support of the Czech Government Office and the financial support of Amazon and Amazon Web Services.