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New Buddhism-Linked AI Chatbots Developed in Japan

New Buddhism-Linked AI Chatbots Developed in Japan

   Kyoto, Sept. 13 (Jiji Press)--A group of researchers in Japan has developed artificial intelligence-powered new chatbots incorporating the teachings of two historic Buddhist monks--Shinran and Vasubandhu.
   Using augmented reality technology, the Shinran chatbot and the Vasubandhu chatbot, powered by OpenAI's ChatGPT generative AI, respectively show an avatar of Shinran, the founder of the Jodo Shinshu sect of Buddhism, and of Vasubandhu, a renowned Indian monk in the fourth century.
   They provide answers from the perspectives learned from books written by the monks, the group said. In Japan, the two new chatbots will be shown on limited occasions, including at some events, for the time being, while talks are underway for putting them into practical use in Bhutan, a Buddhist country.
   The group, including Kyoto University researchers, previously developed ChatGPT-based chatbot "Buddhabot Plus," which answers questions from the Buddhist standpoints.
   To the question, "What should I do when I'm going through hard times?," Buddhabot Plus answers, "You should cross the torrent, believing the teachings (of Buddhism)." In response to the same question, the Shinran chatbot says, "It is important to have faith in immeasurable light and mercy of the Buddha and believe in salvation by the Buddha by chanting 'namuamidabutsu.'" The Vasubandhu chatbot says, "Hardship is a form of foul desire, and it is important to analyze elements of the world and try to reduce the foul desire."

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