Exhibition: Peace Machine Through the Eyes of Children

drawing of peace machine

Café – Restaurant Valve Paljetti
Hallituskatu 7, Oulu
17th Feb 2023 (13:00) – 12th March 2023 (20:00)

How do children envision the Peace Machine? How does it work? What does it do?

In Spring 2022 Oulu Culture Foundation invited schools in the area to make their own Peace Machine Prototypes. The construction of the prototypes was offered to teachers as one way to deal the feelings brought up by the war in Ukraine with the students. Children built their own Peace Machines and wrote user manuals for them. This exhibition features Peace Machines created in schools and kindergartens in Northern Ostrobothnia.

Peace Machine is part of Oulu2026 Cultural Programme and it presents a new way to resolve conflicts and promote dialogue. Peace Machine is based on the life work of artificial intelligence researcher Timo Honkela (1962–2020). His dream was to develop a machine based on artificial intelligence that could be used to solve conflicts and promote world peace.

During the years 2022–2026, communities are invited to take part in the co-creation of the Peace Machine. The immersive Peace Machine will rely on artificial intelligence, and it will be open for public in 2026.

Taking part in the exhibition: Frosterus school, Haapajärvi school, Hiukkavaara school, Kiviniemi school, Käpytikka kindergarten, K.J. Ståhlberg school, Kuivasjärvi school, Lauri Haikola school, Pöllönkangas school, Rajakylä school and Teuvo Pakkala school.

The exhibition is open to everyone and free of charge. The space is accessible.

The opening of the exhibition is held on February 17 at 1 p.m. The event includes programme by children who created Peace Machines and music by Soiva Siili duo. We kindly ask groups to register for the event through the following link by February 12. Due to limited amount of space, the group spots are filled in the order of registration. Warmly welcome!


Children’s Peace Machines run on plastic waste and resolve conflicts

Drawings of Peace Machine prototypes

The Oulu2026 Project Team is inviting primary school pupils to create ideas and work on the Peace Machine of the future. We paid a visit to the year 4 pupils of Teuvo Pakkala school to see and learn more about the prototypes of the machines they have developed to resolve conflicts, promote peace and understand diversity.

Timo Honkela (1962–2020) was a Finnish AI researcher whose life’s work forms the basis for the Peace Machine, a concept for promoting world peace and understanding between people. The Peace Machine is operated on AI, machine vision and new technology applications with the aim of clarifying misunderstandings and reducing conflicts and the role of strong emotional reactions in decision-making. The Peace Machine learns and develops in interaction with its users, making the human contributors co-creators of the machine.

Children’s prototypes highlighted ecology

The year 4 pupils of Teuvo Pakkala school participated in the development of the prototypes with their teacher Maria Viitasaari. The pupils were given a free hand to design the machine: how it would operate, what it is powered by and how it could promote peace between people. Over a few weeks, eight different prototypes were created.

According to Viitasaari, the most surprising aspect in the children’s work were the prominence of ecology and the importance of recycling. Many of the Peace Machines ran on waste, solar power or recycled plastic. The prototypes took on many shapes and forms: The Peace Machine could be an industrial facility, a robot, the globe, a forest or an application whose main tasks were to prevent wars, help disadvantaged people, resolve conflicts and help people calm down.

Swipe the prototype gallery:


“The Peace Machine spreads the message of peace around the world by resolving conflicts and helping the poor. The Peace Machine flies to wherever it hears there are conflicts. The Peace Machine is charged during the night and during the day it runs on energy it derives from positive words people say. The Peace Machine can sing and generate energy from waste.” says Pieta Kuha, a year 4 pupil.

The Peace Machine designed by Elias Heikkinen runs on a separate Peace application, and the machine can be dispatched to different locations to help people. “The Peace Machine is powered by plastic and flower petals. The Peace Machine can hear you and give you advice so that you can avoid accidents and other bad things,” the user manual informs us.

Adelma Leskelä’s Peace Machine is the size of a human being, and it can’t be destroyed by evil acts. “You can say bad things to my Peace Machine. And even if you have done something wrong, it can help you.”

“The Peace Machine is required whenever we need to avoid serious fights. If the Peace Machine detects a minor argument, it flashes a yellow light. If the fight turn serious and dangerous, it flashes a red light and sounds an alarm, like a fire engine. If the people arguing don’t listen, the Peace Machine will go to each person in turn and give them ideas on to how to stop the fight,” Selma Linnanmäki writes.

The children’s work is based on the STEAM philosophy (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math), in which conflict resolution is approached from the perspectives of science, art and technology. Between 2021 and 2026, the Oulu2026 Project Team will invite more schools and nurseries to participate in the Peace Machine project. The children’s designs will be presented to Ekho Collective, which is in charge of the artistic direction of the Peace Machine project.

“The idea behind the project is to encourage pupils to improve their empathy and communication skills and to accept diversity. We have sent the Peace Machine cooperation request to all municipalities and cities within the Oulu 2026 region as a pilot scheme, and the goal is eventually to share the project wtih other European capitals of culture and schools. The more users the Peace Machine has, the more effective it will be,” says Piia Rantala-Korhonen, CEO of Oulu2026 Project Team.

The primary school pupils in the Oulu region and the neighbouring municipalities can participate in the Peace Machine project by contacting Heli Metsäpelto, Head of Community, Oulu2026 Project Team.

The Peace Machine work unveiled in 2026

The Peace Machine is the main work of art for Oulu2026, and it will combine art and technology into an aesthetic experience. The interactive nature of the work is based on the use of AI, machine learning and machine vision. Designed by Ekho Collective, the Peace Machine will have a modular structure and it can be used virtually at different locations at the same time.

The work will be unveiled in 2026 in Oulu and in the Slovakian capital of culture. In 2027, the Peace Machine will continue touring in the capitals of culture in Portugal and Latvia.