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Given that a recent issue of Urology News focused on artificial intelligence (AI) in urology and potential problems it might bring, this month’s digital review focuses on a free course in artificial intelligence.

Elements of AI ( is a free massive open online course (MOOC) and was created by Reaktor and the University of Helsinki. The course can be completed as either a self-paced course or a six-week (5-10 hours a week) course.




The course aims to empower learners in artificial intelligence, and is designed to teach the basics of AI to people from a wide range of backgrounds [1]. No programming knowledge is required but some basic maths knowledge is assumed. The course has already seen more than 142,000 students sign up from 110 countries. Elements of AI was ranked as one of the highest quality free online courses by Class Central in 2018 [2].

The course covers the basics of AI, including machine learning and neural networks. It provides a comprehensive introduction into AI and teaching is based on real life examples of AI. Each section of the six chapters has tests to check understanding and on course completion a certificate of learning is provided.

For anyone wanting an even easier introduction to AI, I would recommend starting with Hannah Fry’s book entitled Hello World: How to be Human in the Age of the Machine. The book is elegant, simple and well written. A wide range of AI topics are covered including AI applications in medicine, driverless cars through to sentencing by judges and problems of AI applications. Fry makes excellent arguments for the regulation of AI within the book, and I would recommend this book as essential reading.



1. (accessed 20 March 2019).
(accessed 20 March 2019).
3. Fry H. Hello World: How to be Human in the Age of the Machine. Doubleday; 2018.


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Ivo Dukic

University Hospitals Birmingham, UK.

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