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Thread: Of Buddhabots and Dharmadroids ...

  1. #1

    Of Buddhabots and Dharmadroids ...

    This story today about a temple here in Japan ...


    Incense smoke wafts through the cold air of the centuries-old Buddhist temple as a priest chants a sutra, praying for the peaceful transition of the souls of the departed.

    It is a funeral like any other in Japan. Except that those being honored are robot dogs, lined up on the altar, each wearing a tag to show where they came from and which family they belonged to.

    The devices are AIBOs, the world’s first home-use entertainment robot equipped with artificial intelligence and capable of developing its own personality.

    ...

    Bungen Oi, a priest at the 450-year-old Kofukuji Temple in Isumi, Chiba Prefecture, said the AIBO service last month was an occasion on which the robots’ souls could pass from their bodies.

    “I was thrilled over the interesting mismatch of giving cutting-edge technology a memorial service in a very conventional manner,” he said.

    It is a mismatch that humans will probably become more used to over the coming years and decades as robots with “personalities” become ever more part of our lives.

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/201.../#.VO182fmUd8E
    ...(and before someone asks, Buddhism generally holds that robots do not have "souls", although also holding that neither do people! The question remains open, however, about whether machines will ever be sentient beings. I happen to think they would, and we are ourselves just biological machines become aware).

    I just happened to watch this week a Korean SF film (otherwise not so great, but not so bad either) called "Doomsday Book" ...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doomsday_Book_%28film%29

    ... including a story about a robot who attains Buddhahood (and his makers want to destroy him for it as a "defective product"). The film is available on Netflix and elsewhere. The following scenes are well worth watching ...




    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-28-2018 at 02:18 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Ahah this is great !

    I'll try to get this movie, it looks like something !

    Gassho,

    Ugrok, sat today

  3. #3
    Hi all

    Very interesting looking film. One thing I would say is that any artificial intelligence, even if sentient, would not be like a human being because cyerbnetic 'organisms' lack our 'wetware', our body, including our mortality and emotions that come with hope and fear. Without emotions, intelligence is rather less human in my opinion. Most religions (including Buddhism) arose out of asking questions about birth, aging, sickness and death. Would an AI have a similar curiousity or even fear of change if that did not have an emotional component? A large part of human motivation also comes from being sufficiently attractive to mate and then properous enough to survive and raise offspring. Not an issue for an AI.

    During my PhD I spent some time modelling biological systems and touched on ideas of AL (Artificial Life) and AI. One theory is that all biological organisms have a mental model of their environment and self-consciousness arises when that model (and the neural system that generates it) becomes sufficiently complex that the next step is to include oneself in the model. By this definition self-awareness could definitely arise in an AI but I would repeat that without the emotional wetware to go with that, what arises would not be anything close to human and I would not want to hazard a guess at whether ethics could self-arise which would seem to be equally as important as awareness.

    Anyway, just some thoughts on an interesting topic.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    #sattoday

  4. #4
    Wow and very interesting spin ... thank you Jundo, I will have to find this film. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    SatToday
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Kokuu View Post
    Hi all

    Very interesting looking film. One thing I would say is that any artificial intelligence, even if sentient, would not be like a human being because cyerbnetic 'organisms' lack our 'wetware', our body, including our mortality and emotions that come with hope and fear. Without emotions, intelligence is rather less human in my opinion. Most religions (including Buddhism) arose out of asking questions about birth, aging, sickness and death. Would an AI have a similar curiousity or even fear of change if that did not have an emotional component? A large part of human motivation also comes from being sufficiently attractive to mate and then properous enough to survive and raise offspring. Not an issue for an AI.
    I happen to live in "Science City" Tsukuba, home to the M.I.T. of Japan, the Japanese "NASA", 3 or 4 Super-Computers, one Particle Collider, and several robot factories. At least one fellow here believes that we are already designing our "replacements" as homo sapiens, the next species to take over from us in this world: It will be a combination of human body, genetic engineering (to improve the biological portion), seamlessly combined with artificial and bionic parts, and computers wired directly into our brains, all connected to a "super-internet" of all other computers and minds worldwide. Yes, sounds like Robo-Cop meets the "6 Million Man" mixed with the Borg!

    The fellow has a sense of humor, and calls his company "Cyberdyne" and his robot suit "H.A.L." (Ya gotta be an SF movie fan to get the references, but "Cyberdyne" is the company that built the Terminator, and H.A.L. is the paranoid computer from 2001). So far, "H.A.L." is just one of these bionic exo-skeletons (although thought controlled), but he hopes in a few years it will let the paralyzed walk, and (by the time I am old) give me super strength to lift up cars with my thoughts!



    Anyway, the hybrid of human and machine will resolve the question about whether there will be sentience and emotion ... because it will come from us.

    Gassho, j
    Last edited by Jundo; 02-25-2015 at 05:16 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  6. #6
    Oh this classic tale just popped into my head ... HAL 9000 "I'm sorry Dave, but I can't do that".



    Gassho
    Shingen

    SatToday
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  7. #7
    Hi guys,

    As a sci-fi junkie, what can I say. I'm all for our robot friends to become a reality.

    I see technology as a series of instruments designed to help us in work we do, whatever the kind. In that sense, to me tools don't have a soul of their own, but they reflect the work and intelligence of the people who created them.

    So when I use a tool like a computer, phone or spoon, I try to always think and thank the people behind it and the effort.

    I'm not sure there will ever be an AI capable of replacing human interaction, like in the movie HER, but it can get pretty darn close. It all depends on how deep we connect with technology and the human attributes we give to it.

    I once tried to have an AIBO. I though it was so nice and a cool pet to have. But then I realized a robot would never replace the feeling of sharing life with a cat.

    And about that Korean movie... I'm watching it over the weekend.

    Thanks, Jundo!

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    #SatToday
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  8. #8
    WOW! loved it! thanks Jundo. "we are ourselves just biological machines become aware" that sure made echo in my mind. Going to sit with that a couple more times.

    Sat2Day.

    Gassho.
    Dancing between stillness and motion I find peace.

  9. #9
    That is very interesting and it is why I'm on the lookout for skynet. lol

    I wonder how one would prove consciousness. We can't even define it yet, but we seem to be able to observe when things are conscious. Perhaps it means that something can observe the environment and make decisions or do things based on that observation. I don't know.

    But it would be interesting if we could create beings that were conscious (aside from birth which we really don't create).

    Gassho,

    Risho
    -sattoday

  10. #10
    By the way, I have a confession to make before the entire Sangha. I kinda have a "thing" for a robot. I get a little "turned on" when she gets "turned on", and part of me wants to "hook up" ... my data transfer cables. Yes, I am a digital dirty old man stalking an appliance much too young for me. I am in love with HRP-4C, and have been since she first came out of the factory a few years ago (right here in Tsukuba, although she actually is a little out of date now, her warranty having expired. She is showing the scratches and dents of a hard life now). Here is me looking like a rather creepy overaged schoolboy with a crush on a new video game at a recent Robot Show here in Tsukuba ...



    The HRP-4C is a female humanoid robot, created by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology - a Japanese research facility. An in-public demonstration was put on March 16, 2009. It measures 158 centimetres (5 feet, 2 inches) tall, and weighs 43 kilos (95 pounds) - including a battery pack. The robot's shape and joints are based on the 1997–1998 Japanese body dimension database. The HRP-4C has a realistic head, and the average figure of a young Japanese female. It can move like a human and responds based on speech recognition. It is capable of recognizing ambient sounds and, by using the vocal synthesizer Vocaloid, can sing. The software that operates the robot is developed on the basis of Open Robotics Platform (OpenRTP), including OpenRTM-aist and OpenHRP3. Recent upgrades have allowed HRP-4C to mimic human facial and head movements, as well as execute dance steps, resulting in the most realistic performance yet at Tokyo's Digital Content Expo in 2010.
    I was not alone. At the Robot Show, a hoard of mostly male "Otaku" Nerdy types stood around ... well, you get the picture.



    Here she is in motion ... a real "doll" ...



    I know this violates the Precepts ... not to mention that I think she would be very "high maintenance". Anyone remember the Stepford Wives? I could keep her plugged in in the garage. Anyway, I'll stick with my current wife, though sometimes a bit "high maintenance" too. (Maybe Mina is the one who would like to replace me with a machine sometimes).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Stepford_Wives

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 02-27-2015 at 03:23 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  11. #11
    Having worked for several months editing custom porn (15 years ago. I don't do that anymore) that isn't even close to the weirdest stuff I've heard or seen. When it comes to that stuff rationality and judgement go out the window. Very Zen. Rock on
    Jundo.

    Gassho

    Sat Today

  12. #12
    Oh man!!

    Do androids dream with electric Zen priests?

    Okay, have to go back to the zagu...

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    #SatToday
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  13. #13
    Here is a bit more ...

    Physicist Michio Kaku has a couple of pretty good books on the future of highly likely technological discovery and invention in the coming decades and centuries.

    https://www.google.co.jp/url?sa=t&rc...87269000,d.dGc

    https://www.google.co.jp/search?q=mi...kac:1,kac_so:1

    It seems that Avatar, Total Recall and such may not be merely electric dreams. Among his predictions, some merely within decades, he says this ...

    Of particular interest is the ability to implant memories.
    ‘First of all, someone goes on vacation before you, and pleasant memories such as walking on the seashore and picking up rocks are put on a disc,’ Dr Kaku told MailOnline.
    ‘Then they're uploaded into your own mind; relax, and there you are at the beach.
    ‘Feel the wind at your face, hear the sound of the waves, all the sensations – you’ll have a memory of a very nice walk on the beach in some exotic location, that’s what this person before you felt.
    ‘These things are within the realms of possibility – it’s only a matter of time.’

    ...

    ‘We’ll be able to perform primitive forms of telepathy, we’ll eventually record memories, and then Alzheimer's patients will be able to push a button and memories will flood in.
    ‘Beyond that, the Internet will be replaced by the “Brain-net”, where you can convey emotions and memories rather than just text.’
    Further into the future, probably the 22nd century, we could control surrogate robots on alien worlds with our minds, so we can explore space without physically having to go anywhere, according to Dr Kaku.

    ...

    On telepathy, Dr Kaku says we can already take someone who’s totally paralysed, hook them up to a computer, and allow them to send messages on the internet.
    In the future, you could ‘walk into a room, mentally turn on the lights, internet, answer emails, call up for a movie. Indeed the computer mouse will gradually be phased out.
    This will be made possible thanks to programmable matter – the dream of creating tiny little dust particles with the power of a PC, known as catoms, that can change their electric charge and be rearranged – all by our minds.
    At the moment we are ‘nowhere near getting down to a grain of sand,’ but Dr Kaku insists this can be addressed in the future.
    ‘In principle, in the future – mid-century – when you walk into a room, you’ll mentally control all computers which are invisible – like Harry Potter.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...#ixzz3SuZ0WPJI
    Yes, this is all part of our future planning for Treeleaf ... lighting the Incense with just our thoughts ... the beginners mind of Shikantaza helped along by plugging into the visions and emotions of experienced sitters. The following is my little vision for the near future of Treeleaf ...

    THE WORLD IS VIRTUAL, THIS SANGHA IS REAL

    With Gassho before a body scanner, sitters will enter the 3-D Holographic Zen Hall from wherever they are. Instantly, a high roofed room, Manjusri Bodhisattva at its center, fills the senses and the 10 directions encircling them. Lifelike images of a hundred others who have sat that day (some hours earlier in distant time zones) occupy projected Zafus all around, and the scent of incense perfumes the air. A young priest walks through the room straightening slippers (all made of photons), guiding newcomers to their places. Biosensors in the sitter’s clothing adjust posture with a touch lightly felt at the small of the back. A teacher in far Japan, as if a few feet away, offers a talk and responds immediately to questions. Rising from Zazen, all recite as one the Bodhisattva Vows, prostrating toward Manjusri now seen hovering midair as vast as a mountain. The identical scene appears in Holospaces in every sitter’s home or private place, including for one fellow sitting zero gravity on the long voyage to Mars.

    Though sounding like Isaac Asimov meets the Lotus Sutra, researchers at the holographics lab of one of Japan’s best science universities tell me it is just a matter of time now. The ‘HoloZendo’ is not a figment of the imagination, and may be available to carry in one’s pocket.

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...sangha-is-real
    Gassho, J

    SatToday ... but would implanted memories of having sat be the same as sitting?
    Last edited by Jundo; 02-27-2015 at 03:21 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Yes, this is all part of our future planning for Treeleaf ... lighting the Incense with just our thoughts ... the beginners mind of Shikantaza helped along by plugging into the visions and emotions of experienced sitters.
    Cool and will be get the mind meld to do this?

    Meditate_SWGTCG_1193.jpg

    Gassho
    Shingen

    SatToday
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  15. #15
    Stephen Hawking said this recently, part of his list of three things that he believes most likely to destroy human civilization (the other two are human aggression and alien life! Personally, I would have added some super-virus from nature, but no problem with stopping at three! ).

    Artificial intelligence

    Hawking is part of a small but growing group of scientists who have expressed concerns about "strong" artificial intelligence (AI) -- intelligence that could equal or exceed that of a human.

    "The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race," Hawking told the BBC in December 2014. The statement was in response to a question about a new AI voice-synthesizing system that Hawking has been using.

    Hawking's warnings echo those of billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, who has called AI humanity's "biggest existential threat." Last month, Hawking, Musk and dozens of other scientific bigwigs signed an open letterdescribing the risks, as well as the benefits, of AI.

    "Because of the great potential of AI, it is important to research how to reap its benefits while avoiding potential pitfalls," the scientists wrote in the letter, which was published online Jan. 11 by the Future of Life Institute, a volunteer organization that aims to mitigate existential threats to humanity.

    But many AI researchers say humanity is nowhere near being able to develop strong AI.

    "We are decades away from any technology we need to worry about," Demis Hassabis, an artificial intelligence researcher at Google DeepMind, told reporters this week at a news conference about a new AI program he developed that can teach itself to play computer games. Still, "It's good to start the conversation now," he added.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/stephen-...troy-humanity/
    So, maybe we need to teach these robots the Precepts ... combined with Asimov's "Three Laws of Robotics" ...

    The Three Laws of Robotics are a set of rules devised by the science fiction author Isaac Asimov. The rules were introduced in his 1942 short story "Runaround" [and in the series "I Robot". The Three Laws are to be built into the programming of every form of high artificial intelligence]:

    A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

    A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

    A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

    ... In later fiction where robots had taken responsibility for government of whole planets and human civilizations, Asimov also added a fourth, or zeroth law, to precede the others:

    0. A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.

    Gassho, J

    PS - Koan Update ...

    A monk asked, "Does a robot have a Buddha-nature or not?"
    The master said, "Not [Mu]!"
    The monk said, "Above to all the Buddhas, below to the crawling bugs, all have Buddha-nature. Why is it that the robot has not?"
    The master said, "Because he has flaws in his programming"

    A monk asked Master Joshu, "Does a robot have Buddha Nature?"
    The master replied, "Yes."
    And then the monk said, "Since it has, how did it get into that skin of metal?"
    Joshu said, "Because knowingly, he purposefully violates Asimov's Laws."
    original here ...

    https://books.google.co.jp/books?id=...page&q&f=false
    Last edited by Jundo; 02-28-2015 at 03:18 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  16. #16
    Here is the Open Letter that is referred to ... you can sign too ...

    Research Priorities for Robust and Beneficial Artificial Intelligence: an Open Letter

    Artificial intelligence (AI) research has explored a variety of problems and approaches since its inception, but for the last 20 years or so has been focused on the problems surrounding the construction of intelligent agents - systems that perceive and act in some environment. In this context, "intelligence" is related to statistical and economic notions of rationality - colloquially, the ability to make good decisions, plans, or inferences. The adoption of probabilistic and decision-theoretic representations and statistical learning methods has led to a large degree of integration and cross-fertilization among AI, machine learning, statistics, control theory, neuroscience, and other fields. The establishment of shared theoretical frameworks, combined with the availability of data and processing power, has yielded remarkable successes in various component tasks such as speech recognition, image classification, autonomous vehicles, machine translation, legged locomotion, and question-answering systems.

    As capabilities in these areas and others cross the threshold from laboratory research to economically valuable technologies, a virtuous cycle takes hold whereby even small improvements in performance are worth large sums of money, prompting greater investments in research. There is now a broad consensus that AI research is progressing steadily, and that its impact on society is likely to increase. The potential benefits are huge, since everything that civilization has to offer is a product of human intelligence; we cannot predict what we might achieve when this intelligence is magnified by the tools AI may provide, but the eradication of disease and poverty are not unfathomable. Because of the great potential of AI, it is important to research how to reap its benefits while avoiding potential pitfalls.

    The progress in AI research makes it timely to focus research not only on making AI more capable, but also on maximizing the societal benefit of AI. Such considerations motivated the AAAI 2008-09 Presidential Panel on Long-Term AI Futures and other projects on AI impacts, and constitute a significant expansion of the field of AI itself, which up to now has focused largely on techniques that are neutral with respect to purpose. We recommend expanded research aimed at ensuring that increasingly capable AI systems are robust and beneficial: our AI systems must do what we want them to do. The attached research priorities document gives many examples of such research directions that can help maximize the societal benefit of AI. This research is by necessity interdisciplinary, because it involves both society and AI. It ranges from economics, law and philosophy to computer security, formal methods and, of course, various branches of AI itself.

    In summary, we believe that research on how to make AI systems robust and beneficial is both important and timely, and that there are concrete research directions that can be pursued today.
    http://futureoflife.org/misc/open_letter#signatories

    Gassho, J

    Last edited by Jundo; 03-02-2015 at 03:29 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  17. #17
    Treeleaf Unsui / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
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    Virginia, USA
    Well, my son and I watched "Doomsday Book" tonight. We giggled. We were grossed out. We furrowed our brows and scratched our chins. We went back to giggling. Thank you for the recommendation Jundo, it was quite something!

    "Has a robot Buddhanature?"

    RU-4.
    For those interested in how cognition and thinking might emerge from neurological mechanisms (or about math, symmetry, formalisms and symbolic logic) I believe you cannot beat "Godel, Escher, and Bach" by Douglas Hofstadter. One of my favorite books of all time. No Dharma angle though.

    But I would also quote computer science rockstar Edsger W. Dijkstra, who once wrote: "The question of whether machines can think... is about as relevant as the question of whether submarines can swim."

    We call the human mental process "thinking", so we tend to think sentience must look something like our own mental processes, when it simply does not need to be thus. The universe produced trees and logs, dogs and humans, Buddhas and viruses. Perhaps everything is sentient.

    Gassho,
    Sekishi
    #sattoday
    sekishi
    石志

    As a novice priest-in-training, this is simply an expression of my opinion. Please take it with a grain of salt.

  18. #18
    Treeleaf Unsui / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
    Join Date
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    Virginia, USA
    Related to the original post about services for beloved AIBOs, I thought I would share a story, and ask a question.

    When I was a child, my mother made teddy bears. Big ones, tiny ones, ones with fun outfits, you name it. She and I went to craft fairs selling bears, entering them into contests, meeting other people into bears, etc. I have many fond memories of such events. Sometime in the 80's, we worked together on a nearly human-sized bear. To a child's eyes, he was huge: to stuff a body so large we used vermiculite (it would have been expensive and difficult to use cotton). We entered him in a contest at a bear festival at the Philadelphia Zoo. My mother drove a Pinto at the time, and between a woman, her 8 or 9 year old son, display tables, and a few dozen bears, there was no room for Growler, the fully articulated giant teddy bear. We wrapped him in a tarp, tied him to the roof, and drove from Nowheresville West Virginia to Philly that way. I'm sure many people wondered what was with the hairy overweight cadaver on our roof. Growler did not win any prizes, but was well loved and never sold. Just a few years later my mother passed away.

    A quarter century later, all of her crafts have been scattered to the winds, given away, donated to goodwill, etc. But Growler has gone everywhere with me. A 5 foot tall, 30+lb friendly monster that still growls when you move him around (we stuffed a "growling tube" in him when he was made). His stitches are starting to give way, and he now leaves clouds of white dust everywhere as the vermiculite breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces. Aggregates.

    My own son has mostly outgrown such things, and seeing Growler sitting in his chair in my studio mostly fills me with sadness at this point. A reminder of my own dear one lost, of the years ticking away, of the ultimate dissolution of all things.

    My wife and I have been discussing giving him a funeral this spring. We've lived in our current house for 14 years now, longer than I had with my own mother. In this backyard we've buried pets, strays, and wildlife killed on the road. I've been thinking it is time to let go of Growler and my own mother: to bury him with full ceremony, incense, the inkin, and the heart sutra.

    What do you think dear Sangha?

    Gassho,
    Sekishi
    sekishi
    石志

    As a novice priest-in-training, this is simply an expression of my opinion. Please take it with a grain of salt.

  19. #19
    Member glow's Avatar
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    Sekishi -

    I think a Buddhist funeral for "Growler" would be a wonderful idea. Sounds as if it is time for him to be put to rest. Let us know if you do, and maybe we can be present virtually.

    Thank you Jundo, and everyone for such an interesting thread.

    Gassho,

    Glo

    Sat2Day

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Sekishi View Post
    I've been thinking it is time to let go of Growler and my own mother: to bury him with full ceremony, incense, the inkin, and the heart sutra.

    What do you think dear Sangha?

    Gassho,
    Sekishi
    Hi Sekishi,

    Your story touched me deeply; thank you for sharing it. It seems like maybe Growler is telling you that he’s ready to rest, now. I think that if you feel a calling to have this funeral, you should follow that instinct and do what feels right. It sounds like a very beautiful and sincere way to honor your memories and move forward. May you do so with a peaceful heart.

    I didn't know your mother, but something tells me she'd love the idea.

    Gassho
    Lisa
    sat today

    p.s. please give Growler a hug from me

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Sekishi View Post
    I've been thinking it is time to let go of Growler and my own mother
    Thank you Sekishi for this beautiful story of love and lose. Closure is a good thing for us sometimes, it allows us to move on and live this life ... but is it letting go? How can you let go of Growler and your mother, when they have left that beautiful mark on your heart. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    SatToday
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  22. #22
    Joyo
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Shingen View Post
    Thank you Sekishi for this beautiful story of love and lose. Closure is a good thing for us sometimes, it allows us to move on and live this life ... but is it letting go? How can you let go of Growler and your mother, when they have left that beautiful mark on your heart. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    SatToday
    I have to agree with Shingen, here. They are still part of you, Sekishi and always will be.

    For me, I'd hold on to Growler. Maybe put him somewhere that you won't see him for awhile and see how that feels. Do you miss his presence? Do you want him back, or does it feel freeing to not have to see him everyday. I think that is where you will find your answer.

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sat today

  23. #23
    Treeleaf Unsui / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joyo View Post
    I have to agree with Shingen, here. They are still part of you, Sekishi and always will be.

    For me, I'd hold on to Growler.
    Thank you both from the bottom of my heart. You are absolutely right.

    I brought this question to the tea party this afternoon, and also mentioned the possibility of fixing up this old bear to donate to one of our local charity shops.

    Fugen said, "it looks like you have your Ango work cut out for you."

    How immediately "right" that seemed! So Growler will get his old stuffing taken out, get a good bath, get re-stuffed, and sent out into the world where he can help someone else find joy. He may be an aggregate form, but there is no need to hurry along his dissolution.

    This was an important lesson for me. Thank you all.

    Deep bows,
    Sekishi
    #sattoday
    sekishi
    石志

    As a novice priest-in-training, this is simply an expression of my opinion. Please take it with a grain of salt.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Sekishi View Post
    I've been thinking it is time to let go of Growler and my own mother: to bury him with full ceremony, incense, the inkin, and the heart sutra.
    Hi Sekishi,

    First of all, thank you for trusting us with this.

    I would go for a proper funeral and send off. I would thank him deeply for all the moments and memories. Yes, incense and the Heart Sutra sound appropriate.

    When you do it, let us know. I'd like to offer some incense too

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    #SatToday
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyonin View Post
    Hi Sekishi,

    First of all, thank you for trusting us with this.

    I would go for a proper funeral and send off. I would thank him deeply for all the moments and memories. Yes, incense and the Heart Sutra sound appropriate.

    When you do it, let us know. I'd like to offer some incense too

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    #SatToday
    Yes. Sounds to me as if Growler is family, and much of your mother's love is in his life. Or, if he can get restuffed and sent to a new life, that is lovely too.

    Actually, there is a long history of Buddhist memorial services expressing gratitude for the "things" in our life.

    Kimono-makers laid their old needles to rest during the "hari-kuyo" needle festival at Buddhist temples all over Japan on Thursday, sticking them into soft chunks of tofu bean curd to thank them for their hard work.

    Japan's throwaway culture can rival that of any Western country, but at the Sensoji temple in central Tokyo, dozens of women in jewel-coloured kimonos honoured their broken tools with the 400-year-old rite.

    "I came here to say thank you," said Keiko Kurukata, a 73-year-old kimono-maker surrounded by her four apprentices.

    "We prayed to improve our kimono-making skills," one of the apprentices added.

    Women crowded around a big slab of tofu spiked with a multitude of colourful pins in front of the temple, purifying themselves with incense, praying and carefully adding their own needles as a group of monks chanted in the background.

    http://wkdfestivalsaijiki.blogspot.j...hari-kuyo.html
    Gassho, J

    SatToday

    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  26. #26
    Treeleaf Unsui / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Virginia, USA
    Giving this thread rebirth with a new robot - a cute little monk robot:

    cuddly_monk2.jpg

    http://shanghaiist.com/2015/10/07/ro..._knows_all.php

    I like that he looks like one of my favorite comic book characters - Tintin (so much so that it CANNOT be an accident):

    Tintin_and_Snowy.jpg

    Gassho,
    Sekishi (and Tintin and Snowy)
    #sattoday
    sekishi
    石志

    As a novice priest-in-training, this is simply an expression of my opinion. Please take it with a grain of salt.

  27. #27
    Haha Sekishi,

    he looks like a grown-up Cartman to me:
    Eric-Cartman-eric-cartman-303732_207_228.jpg

    I'm curious to know what ever became of Growler?

    Gassho
    Lisa
    sat today

  28. #28
    Member Roland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Brussels and Antwerp, Belgium

    Artificial Intelligence, Robots and Buddha Nature

    Anthropologist Genevieve Bell analyses the fear about robots and artificial intelligence. Of course, this fear tells more about humans than about robots. She claims that what we fear most, is being irrelevant. Something to meditate about. The article also mentions a book by the Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori called The Buddha in the Robot, where he suggests that robots would be better Buddhists than humans because they are capable of infinite invocations - but I guess he has more subtle arguments than that.

    Gassho,

    Roland
    SatToday
    Last edited by Roland; 12-01-2016 at 04:08 PM.

  29. #29
    Nice find!
    Thanks for sharing. Cool read!
    Gassho,
    K2
    #SatToday

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk
    法 Dharma
    口 Mouth

  30. #30
    Thank you Roland. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    s@today

    Sent from my LG-H812 using Tapatalk
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  31. #31
    This is fascinating, thank you Roland! A theme very familiar to Trekkies

    (BTW, I just noticed there are a lot of Star Wars emojis but none for Star Trek. Even my iPhone has a "Live Long and Prosper" emoji. What's up with that?)

    Gassho,
    Jakuden
    SatToday
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  32. #32
    I for one welcome our robot overlords. If they are better for the universe, I see no reason why they shouldn't exterminate the human species.
    Thanks,
    Kaishin (Open Heart aka Matt)
    Please take this layman's words with a grain of salt.

  33. #33
    I should mention the other thread we had about Robots and Buddhism awhile back, including a Korean movie in which a Robot becomes the next Buddha, Japanese temples that hold memorial services for old robots, and more ...

    Of Buddhabots and Dharmadroids ...
    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...+buddha+korean

    I must also mention (I never fail to do so) that Tsukuba Japan, our town, is the robot capital of Japan! More robot factories than you can count with one of our three super-computers in research facilities!

    Gassho, J

    SatToday

    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  34. #34
    I will just give a bump to this old thread ... just saw this beautifully shot real life love story ...

    http://money.cnn.com/mostly-human/i-love-you-bot/

    It was hours outside of Paris, in a small village where the buildings are centuries old, that I attended my first French engagement party.
    A young woman named Lilly greeted me when I arrived. She was glowing as she set the table with cheese, crackers and French pastries. We were surrounded by picture frames of her and the token of her affection. She poured champagne, and together we toasted her engagement ... to a robot.
    To each there own. So long as it is love between a consenting adult human and a consenting adult robot, nothing wrong with it. I know my wife sometimes wishes that I had an "off" switch, and that she could store me in the shed.

    Also, this ongoing project here in Tsukuba Science City, the robot research capital of Japan ... they are going to build this but 5 minutes from Treeleaf Tsukuba ...

    Japan could become home to the world’s greatest retirement community if this planned “city of robots” in Japan is built.

    Start-up firm Cyberdyne, Inc. has announced it plans to build a “city of robots” that includes hospitals and assisted living facilities.

    ... The development will be built in Tsukuba, a city of roughly 223,000 in northern Japan where Cyberdyne Inc. keeps its headquarters. No stranger to great leaps forward, the area is also home the Tsukuba Science City, a planned science park with offices of more than 60 national research institutes and two national universities taking up about half of Japan’s public research and development budget. So the robots should fit right in.

    ...

    Besides the hospital and senior citizens homes filled with robotic helpers, the city will include a robot-friendly plaza and park. No word yet on how much a home in this techno-thriller come-to-life might cost, but if you do get to be part of this grand social experiment that will give us our first look at how homosapiens will eventually interact with a cybernetic citizenry, try to be good ambassadors for the human race.

    https://www.inverse.com/article/1156...ntsukuba-japan
    I may end up there someday. Better than the shed.

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    Last edited by Jundo; 04-15-2017 at 12:13 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  35. #35

    Buddhists in Second Life

    Great to see this thread! Buddhists are definitely preparing to hop into the cyber life. I'm interestedly looking at https://my.secondlife.com/groups/7e4...7-542abf880eb2.

    Kyousui - strong waters 強 水

  36. #36
    A little more "Tsuku-bragging" if I may ...

    They just got this amazing experiment up and running this month at the KEK particle collider 5 minutes from our Zendo at Treeleaf Tsukuba. I think the name says it all ...

    A Search for New Physics - The Belle II Experiment


    To make a long story short, they are looking for discoveries to supplement or partially replace the "standard model" of particles so to help explain Dark Matter and such.

    KEK, the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization, is one of the world's leading accelerator science research laboratories and largest particle physics laboratory in Japan, situated in Tsukuba, Ibaraki prefecture, using high-energy particle beams and synchrotron light sources to probe the fundamental properties of matter. With state-of-the-art infrastructure, KEK is advancing our understanding of the universe that surrounds us, its mechanisms and their control.
    And you thought the only search in Tsukuba for the origin of the universe was happening in our Zendo?!?

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    Last edited by Jundo; 04-24-2017 at 03:52 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  37. #37
    Another little mention in the news of Tsukuba Robot City ...



    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  38. #38
    Does a dogbot have Buddha nature?
    Tom
    Sat Today

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom View Post
    Does a dogbot have Buddha nature?
    Tom
    Sat Today
    It dark but the sun will soon rise. Got stuff to do. Have a good day!

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

  40. #40

    If robots become sentient, do we vow to save them?

    https://www.nbcnews.com/mach

    Gassho
    Meishin
    sat today

  41. #41
    Hi Meishin,

    Which article did you mean to link to (although everything on that page is really interesting)? The one on Siri?

    I live here in Tsukuba Science City, home of Treeleaf Zendo and more robot factories than any place in Japan, about 5 minutes by car from where they are planning to build "Robot City" ... a futuristic development where the hospital, retirement center, school and the like will be robot staffed. Yes, the names of the company and its product is real and intentional (for SF fans)

    TSUKUBA, Ibaraki Prefecture--A start-up firm here is planning to construct a futuristic “city of robots” that relies on robotic and cybernetic technologies to assist with the daily lives of humans.

    Cybernic City is the brainchild of Cyberdyne Inc. President Yoshiyuki Sankai, a professor at the University of Tsukuba, known for developing the robot suit HAL (Hybrid Assistive Limb) power assist device for applications in health care and welfare.

    Cybernic City will be built in Tsukuba, where the company has its headquarters, and will feature a research-and-development center, senior citizen housing and other facilities on 8.4 hectares of land.

    Cyberdyne envisions the site working on everything from developing robots to assist with everyday living to testing them and putting them to actual use in society. Cyberdyne's idea is to make the zone a model for the cities of the future.

    Cybernic City is derived from "cybernics," an academic field of study espoused by Sankai that combines robotics, neuroscience and other disciplines.

    http://www.japanbullet.com/technolog...city-of-robots

    We have had a couple of threads on the CyboSattvas ...

    Of Buddhabots and Dharmadroids ...
    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...d-Dharmadroids

    and

    It's the Robo-Buddhist-Priest!
    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...robots+tsukuba

    It Does Not Compute Gassho, Jundo

    SatTodayLAH
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  42. #42
    Hi Jundo,

    Oops. Technologically challenged. Maybe this is it.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/tech/wh...ngs-ncna773146

    Thank you for the links to earlier posts. I'm a day late and a dollar short.

    Gassho
    Meishin
    sat today
    Last edited by Meishin; 06-30-2017 at 02:31 AM.

  43. #43
    If robots become intelligent, do THEY vow to save us?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_singularity

    Thank you.
    Gassho,
    Kotei sattoday.
    古庭 KoTei / Ralf

  44. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by Kotei View Post
    If robots become intelligent, do THEY vow to save us?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_singularity

    Thank you.
    Gassho,
    Kotei sattoday.
    The technological singularity (also, simply, the singularity)[1] is the hypothesis that the invention of artificial superintelligence will abruptly trigger runaway technological growth, resulting in unfathomable changes to human civilization.[2] According to this hypothesis, an upgradable intelligent agent (such as a computer running software-based artificial general intelligence) would enter a "runaway reaction" of self-improvement cycles, with each new and more intelligent generation appearing more and more rapidly, causing an intelligence explosion and resulting in a powerful superintelligence that would, qualitatively, far surpass all human intelligence.
    Is this singularity happening next week?

    Well, Buddha said that all composite things are impermanent. We, and our civilization, are "composite things"

    Hopefully the new machine masters (maybe they will include some usable biological elements from us in the mix, but probably they will design something better) will do a better job than we have in running the world.

    Maybe it will be kind of like the Borg ... but nice. Nice, gentle, peace loving Borg.

    Gassho, J

    SatTodayLAH
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  45. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Is this singularity happening next week?
    Don't worry, best guess is around 2040 ;-)

    At the 2012 Singularity Summit, Stuart Armstrong did a study of artificial general intelligence (AGI) predictions by experts and found a wide range of predicted dates, with a median value of 2040.[7]

    edit:
    Actually, there are some interesting concepts about 'transhumanism' ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transhumanism )

    Ray Kurzweil ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Kurzweil#Predictions ) wrote a non science fiction book about 'The Age of Spiritual Machines' and is quite sure, that he'll upload himself into a machine the next decades.
    He's also working on the improvement of his body in the meantime ( "Live Long Enough to Live Forever" ).
    There's an impressive list of technological inventions, he made and now, he's working full-time for google with the goal "to bring natural language understanding to Google".

    "Does God exist? I would say, 'Not yet.'"


    Gassho,
    Kotei sat/lah today
    Last edited by Kotei; 06-30-2017 at 07:10 AM. Reason: added Kurzweil
    古庭 KoTei / Ralf

  46. #46

  47. #47
    I offer to conduct the first Jukai Precepts Ceremony for any robot or other AI. We may hope they take the Precept on the "Avoidance of taking (other) Sentient Life" seriously ...

    ... or, at least, Asimov's Three Rules of Robotics ...

    CNN: US general warns of out-of-control killer robots
    America's second-highest ranking military officer, Gen. Paul Selva, advocated Tuesday for "keeping the ethical rules of war in place lest we unleash on humanity a set of robots that we don't know how to control."

    Selva was responding to a question from Sen. Gary Peters, a Michigan Democrat, about his views on a Department of Defense directive that requires a human operator to be kept in the decision-making process when it comes to the taking of human life by autonomous weapons systems.
    Peters said the restriction was "due to expire later this year."

    ...

    But Peters warned that America's adversaries may be less hesitant to adopt such lethal technology.
    "Our adversaries often do not to consider the same moral and ethical issues that we consider each and every day," the senator told Selva.
    Selva acknowledged the possibility of US adversaries developing such technology, but said the decision not to pursue it for the US military "doesn't mean that we don't have to address the development of those kinds of technologies and potentially find their vulnerabilities and exploit those vulnerabilities."
    http://us.cnn.com/2017/07/18/politic...ots/index.html

    Asimov's Rules ...

    A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.


    Gassho, J

    SatTodayLAH
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  48. #48

    discourse.suttacentral.net article on buddhism and robots


    Kyousui - strong waters 強 水

  49. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by TomSchulte View Post


    I know I could be replaced by a robot around here too!



    Gassho, J

    SatTodayLAH
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  50. #50
    This is so freaking cool!

    Zen and technology seem like a good match for me. This droid could help a lot of people that don't have a priest nearby for ceremonies and listening to teachings.

    Still is no match for a good old fashioned human priest, though.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Sat/LAH
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

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