Starting in January, the Netherlands will have its national AI course. The aim of the course is to inform as many Dutch people as possible about the basic principles of artificial intelligence (AI). The initiators hope to reach 1% of the Dutch population – about 170,000 people – with the online course. The idea for the course comes from Finland.
“Artificial intelligence has long since ceased to be a thing of the future. It is interwoven in all aspects of daily life,” says initiator Jim Stolze. “From autonomous cars to the newsfeed of the ubiquitous Facebook. Everything we have plugged in 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 for it? How do you prevent algorithms from contributing to increasing inequality, or creating unity? These are the crucial questions. In the Netherlands, everyone has an opinion, but few people have read into this matter. By offering a basic course to all Dutch people, we can at least enter the discussions in a well-informed way.”
We will just do it
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 called to bring parties together for a similar initiative in the Netherlands. “I really didn’t expect that this call would generate so much enthusiasm. The fact that so many parties have come to support it means that we will probably achieve our goal: to familiarize everyone in the Netherlands with the phenomenon called AI. There is so much talk about it, with this course we will just do it.”