Peace Machine

Timo Honkela

Original title: Rauhankone

Author: Timo Honkela

Published: 2017

Publisher: Gaudeamus

Genres: General Nonfiction, Parenting & Educational

Pages: 285

Reading material:

English translation, Finnish edition

Is world peace possible – or even inevitable? This book explains how artificial intelligence and machine learning can be used to build a more peaceful and prosperous future for all of humanity.

In 1971, a woman took her own life. Her husband, already traumatized by his experiences in the Second World War, was left to raise their eight-year-old son alone. Growing up under these difficult circumstances, the boy turned to reading to try to understand the world. As a young man, he devoted himself to the study of computer science, applying the nascent discipline of artificial intelligence to understanding the mind, language and society. He grew up to be an internationally recognized academic. In 2014, Professor Timo Honkela was diagnosed with an incurable form of brain cancer. At this turning point in his life, he decided that rather than giving up and waiting for his inescapable demise, he would devote his remaining time to serving the greater good.

The fruit of this effort, The Peace Machine, is a proposal for the application of artificial intelligence, machine learning, language technology and pattern recognition to promoting peace in the world. In the book, Professor Honkela explains how to leverage advances in artificial intelligence to promote mutual understanding between people, provide insights on our emotions and foster justice for all. During the remainder of his life, his dearest wish was to see these concepts disseminated throughout the world. He strongly believed that positive uses for artificial intelligence exist, but whether individuals and societies take advantage of them is a matter of choice.

In the future, the peace machine might help the conflict parties to find optimal solutions, or it might give advice to the UN Security Council to advance global security. But it can also be an app in our phone, solving and advicing in everyday conflicts.

- Pekka Haavisto, Finland's Minister of Foreign Affairs

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Rights sold:
FINLAND: Gaudeamus (orig.)
ESTONIA: Koolibri
FRANCE: Editions Saint-Simon


About author

Timo Honkela

Timo Honkela researched artificial intelligence and machine learning for over 30 years, and served as a professor in three universities, including his post as Professor of Digital Information Research in Helsinki University. The Peace Machine is his testament, in which he talks about his life work in hopes of inspiring other people to continue the important work.


2017, General Nonfiction, Parenting & Educational

Timo Honkela

Peace Machine