A 400-year-old Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan, is utilizing a $1 million humanoid to succeed in a youthful technology, however foreigners are repulsed by it.
The Kodaji Temple, in a partnership with the robotics group at Osaka College, unveiled “Mindar” earlier this yr. The robotic is a 6-foot tall android, manufactured from silicon and aluminum and modeled after Kannon, the Buddhist deity of mercy who preaches what is named the “Coronary heart Sutra” in Japanese, with English and Chinese language translations projected on a display for vacationers.
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“Synthetic intelligence has developed to such an extent we thought it logical for the Buddha to rework right into a robotic,” Tensho Goto, the chief steward of the temple, instructed AFP. “Clearly a machine would not have a soul, however Buddhist religion is not about believing in God. It is about following Buddha’s path, so it would not matter whether or not it’s represented by a machine, a scrap of iron or a tree.”
Goto, a self-proclaimed “fuddy-duddy” priest, believes the robotic will assist attain the youthful technology to assist overcome ache and ease struggling, the aim of the Buddhist faith.
“It’s right here to save lots of anybody who seeks assist,” Goto added. “Fashionable society brings different kinds of stress, however the aim hasn’t actually modified for over 2,000 years.”
After months of temple worship with the robotic, Osaka College polled individuals about their expertise and plenty of Japanese adherents expressed a optimistic interplay.
“I felt a heat you would not really feel from a daily machine,” one in every of them stated.
One other temple goer added: “At first it felt slightly unnatural, however the android was straightforward to comply with. It made me suppose deeply about proper and fallacious.”
Foreigners, nonetheless, have been repulsed by it.
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“It may very well be the affect of the Bible, however Westerners have in contrast it to Frankenstein’s monster,” Goto added. “Japanese individuals do not possess any prejudices towards robots. We had been introduced up on comics the place robots are our associates. Westerners suppose in a different way.”