S'pore is first to roll out Intel's free AI course for non-techies

Launched in tie-up with ITE, 4-hr online course is open to all, caters to those with no prior knowledge

A Higher Nitec student at ITE College West demonstrating her smart artificial intelligence (AI) sign language software in a showcase of social impact AI projects, at the launch of the AI For Citizens online micro-learning course yesterday. PHOTO: LIA
A Higher Nitec student at ITE College West demonstrating her smart artificial intelligence (AI) sign language software in a showcase of social impact AI projects, at the launch of the AI For Citizens online micro-learning course yesterday. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Singapore is the first country in the world to roll out a course developed by Intel to demystify artificial intelligence (AI) for the man in the street.

The free four-hour online micro-learning course, AI For Citizens, was launched on the Gnowbe self-learning platform yesterday in partnership with the Institute of Technical Education (ITE).

"Sometimes, these buzzwords create a lot of fear and anxiety in the society," said Mr Thong Chee Chung, director for ITE College West's School of Electronics and Info-Comm Technology.

"Some people have the misconception that AI is only for intellectual people, so we have to start from the ground to tell the general public not to worry or fear AI."

Promising not to be too technical, the self-paced course will give people a basic understanding of AI, allow them to appreciate how it is used, and address misconceptions.

Catering to those with no prior knowledge of AI, the course is suitable for anyone, from students to senior citizens.

The interactive course will include short quizzes, and personalised digital badges will be awarded upon completion.

ITE is offering the course to the public as part of national efforts to demystify AI and its applications, said its chief executive Low Khah Gek at the launch of the programme at ITE College West yesterday. She, too, had completed the course, she added, showing off her AI For Citizens badges.

Intel's vice-president for sales and marketing Santhosh Viswanathan said Singapore was chosen for the course's launch because of its focus on digital transformation and skilling programmes for the workforce.

The technology giant plans to expand the programme to 30 countries by 2030, as part of its efforts to make technology inclusive and expand digital readiness.

"Intel recognises the need to create public awareness, demystify and build understanding of the full potential of AI. We are excited about expanding our partnership with ITE to build awareness and appreciation of AI for Singapore citizens," Mr Santhosh added.

Intel and ITE partnered last year on the AI For Youth programme, designed to teach youth about the technology as well as social skills.

More than 3,000 ITE students have gone through the programme, and 15 of them went on to create social impact AI projects.

One project recognised yesterday was the humanoid surveillance robot Yanshee developed by Riydho Nahar, a first-year Higher Nitec student in electronics engineering at ITE College West.

The 18-year-old said he was inspired to develop the robot after he came across a documentary showing a rescue team being attacked by a wild animal during an operation.

He said: "I thought that we could combine robotics and AI to create something that could help in such operations to reduce harm to people. With AI helping to visualise what is inside these enclosed spaces, it could possibly make the work of the rescue team easier."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 17, 2021, with the headline 'S'pore is first to roll out Intel's free AI course for non-techies'. Subscribe