Japan Creates Robot “Reincarnation” Of The Buddha To Preach In Buddhist Temple

The merger of artificial intelligence and religion is a trend that will have to be carefully watched for the future as it can be a means to bring about the worship of technology and robots as divine beings. While it may sound strange, there is already a man named Anthony Levandowski who has started a church of artificial intelligence that worships such programs as divine.

In the Buddhist religion, a Bodhisattva is an incarnation of the Buddha. In an interesting situation in Japan, a robot created in the image of Kannon, one particular Bodhisattva, was put in a temple in Japan to “teach” Buddhism to onlookers according to the Japan Times:

A robot modeled after Kannon Bodhisattva and designed to explain the teachings of Buddha in plain terms was unveiled to the media at Kodaiji Temple in the city of Kyoto on Saturday.

In a dimly lit hall of the temple, the robot — named Mindar — gave a speech on the Heart Sutra and humanity with English and Chinese subtitles projected on the wall as music played in the background.

“If an image of Buddha speaks, teachings of Buddhism will probably be easier to understand,” said Tensho Goto, the chief steward of the temple in Kyoto’s Higashiyama Ward, during a news conference. “We want many people to come to see (the robot) to think about the essence of Buddhism.”

Another official linked to the temple expressed hope that the robot will “help people who usually have little connection with Buddhism to take an interest” in the religion.

Mindar, which is about 195 centimeters tall and weighs 60 kilograms, was constructed by Tokyo-based A-Lab Co. It’s body is made primarily of aluminum, with silicone used for its face and hands.

The robot will be shown to the public between March 8 and May 6. (source, source)