Changing the cultural climate in Europe will change the way we communicate and how we promote peace. Not just peace as the absence of conflict, but peace as a trustful, sharing and caring cultural climate. The European Union was founded as a peace project after the ruins of war. Within an increasingly polarised Europe the potential for violence and conflict is rising – hate speech has historically been the match which lit the tinderbox of war.
The Peace Machine is rooted in the life work of the Finnish scientist Timo Honkela, an artificial intelligence researcher who studied at the University of Oulu. Honkela died all too young, in May 2020, but his life work lives on. His dream was to create a machine using artificial intelligence to facilitate conflict resolution and promote world peace.
The Peace Machine is based on modular architecture and is usable simultaneously and virtually in different places. The Peace Machine combines art and technology which can be experienced as an immersive aesthetic experience. The design work is ongoing.
The Finnish Ekho Collective is a group of artists, designers and technology professionals, who specialise in immersive experiences. Ekho will lead the design consisting of the overall artistic concept and principles of interaction and facilitation enabled by artificial intelligence, machine learning and machine vision.
In 2026, the Peace Machine will be on display in Oulu. In 2027 the Peace Machine’s journey will continue to the next ECoC cities in Portugal and Latvia.
Peace Machine Kids – Let’s Explore Peace!
The future belongs to the children! In 2021-2025, we invite kids in schools and kindergartens to build prototypes of the Peace Machine. Prototyping is fun, at the same time it is a part of the STEAM philosophy, where children and young people themselves can explore the nature of conflicts and learn to resolve them through science, art and technology.
In Spring 2022 Oulu Culture Foundation invited local schools in the area to make their own Peace Machine Prototypes. The construction of the prototypes was offered to teachers as a tool to help students and children deal the feelings brought up by the war in Ukraine. Children built their own Peace Machine prototypes and wrote user manuals for them. Oulu2026 will organize an exhibition in Oulu featuring several Peace Machine prototypes created in schools and kindergartens from Northern Ostrobothnia.