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Politecnico di Milano

Artificial Intelligence: An Overview

From the birth of AI to recent achievements: how and why AI has become worldwide one of the most important enabling technologies.

Introduction to Artificial Intelligence series

This MOOC is one of the MOOCs of the series titled “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence”, aimed at providing technical and non-technical, including historical and political, notions on artificial intelligence. The series investigates why artificial intelligence is nowadays considered the most disruptive enabling technologies up to at least 2050 and gives basic groundings for a preliminary approach to the area. It also deepens ethical issues and national strategies.

See the other MOOCs of the series.

If you are a POLIMI student you have to log in using your Person Code. This is the only way to prove your participation in this course for official recognition.

Course description

The MOOC will provide a non-technical overview of the artificial intelligence field. Initially, a discussion on the birth of AI is provided, remarking the seminal ideas and preliminary goals. Furthermore, the crucial weaknesses are presented and how these weaknesses have been circumvented. Then, the current state of AI is presented, in terms of goals, importance at national level, and strategies. Moreover, the taxonomy of the AI topics is presented.

Total workload of the course: 10 h

This MOOC is provided by Politecnico di Milano.

Information about fees and access to materials

You can access the course absolutely free of charge and completely online.

Course materials will remain available to all enrolled users after the end of the current edition, so they can return to content later. The current course edition will be followed by a new one just after its end.

Learning schedule

The course is structured in 5 weeks:

  • Week 1: History of AI
  • Week 2: AI Today
  • Week 3: AI Research Areas
  • Week 4: AI National Strategies
  • Week 5: Italian and European Players

In particular, Week 1 introduces the history of AI explaining what AI is, when it was born and its phases. Week 2 explores the situation of AI today focusing on its goals, its problems and progresses in the scientific community and companies. Week 3 explores research areas, while Week 4 examines national strategies in the USA, in China and in Europe. Finally, Week 5 focuses on Italian and European players: MISE, CINI Labs, AIxIA, and European Networks of Excellence.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By actively participating in this MOOC, you will achieve different intended learning outcomes (ILOs).


  1. WEEK 1 - Explain the seminal ideas leading to the birth of AI, the major difficulties and how the international community overtook them.
    ESCO: computer history
  2. WEEK 2 - Describe what AI is today in terms of goals, scientific community, companies’ interests.
    ESCO: Principles of artificial intelligence ESCO: Innovative in ICT
  3. WEEK 3 - Describe the taxonomy of the know-how on AI in terms of techniques, software and hardware methodologies, and how they are related to each other.
    ESCO: Information and communication technologies not elsewhere classified
  4. WEEK 4 - Explain the need for national strategies on AI.
  5. WEEK 5 - Identify the major Italian and European players on AI and their scope.


No prerequisite knowledge is required.


Over and above consulting the content, in the form of videos and other web-based resources, you will have the opportunity to discuss course topics and to share ideas with your peers in the Forum of this MOOC.


To successfully complete this course, and henceforth receive the certificate of accomplishment, it is necessary to pass the quiz with 60%.

Certificate of Accomplishment

The Certificate of Accomplishment will be released to anyone who successfully completes the course by answering correctly to at least 60% of the questions by the end of the edition. You will be able to download the Certificate of Accomplishment directly on the website.

Once you have successfully passed the course, you can request the Certificate of Accomplishment without waiting for the end of the edition.

The Certificate of Accomplishment does not confer any academic credit, grade or degree.

European Qualifications Framework Level

EQF Level 6

Thematic area (ISCED-F classification)

061 Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs)

Discussion forum

The forum of this MOOC is freely accessible and participation is not guided; you can use it to compare yourself with other participants, or to discuss course contents with them.

Contact details

If you have any enquiries about the course or if you need technical assistance please contact For further information, see FAQ page.

Course Faculty

Nicola Gatti

Nicola Gatti

Nicola Gatti is an Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering of the Department of Electronics, Information, and Bioengineering at Politecnico di Milano. His research activities are grounded in the Artificial Intelligence area, and his main achievements come from algorithmic game theory, allocation problems and incentives, algorithmic social choice theory, multiagent learning, and online learning. His research activities received some awards, including the 2011 AIxIA Marco Somalvico Award as the best Italian young researcher in AI and the best paper award in NeurIPS 2020. He is the director of the AI Research and Innovation Center of Politecnico di Milano, co-director of the Italian Observatory in Artificial Intelligence, and a board member of the Italian Laboratory of Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Systems. He is also a board member of the International Foundation for Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (IFAAMAS) and of the Italian Association for Artificial Intelligence (AIxIA).

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

  1. Classes Start

    feb 20, 2023
  2. Classes End

    feb 29, 2024
  3. Length

    5 weeks
  4. Estimated Effort

    1-2 hours/week
  5. Language

  6. Course Number

  7. MOOCs For Professionals