Upcoming Conference to Explore “Buddhism, Consciousness, and AI”

From June 21 to 23, 2024, our principal Dr. Thomas Doctor will attend the “Buddhism, Consciousness, and AI” conference held by The Woodenfish Foundation in Taipei. This event will mark the 5th Woodenfish Forum on Buddhism, Science, and Future, taking place at the Grand Hotel in Taipei. Dr. Doctor will participate in a panel discussion on AI and Buddhist Ethics, exploring the ethical implications of technological advancements through the lens of Buddhist philosophy.

Agenda from Accupass.com

June 21 Friday 9 am – 12 pm

Pane 1: Buddhist Consciousness & Modern Science

This panel considers the mechanisms behind and products of mindfulness practices and its detractors

1. Paul Swanson (Emeritus Professor at Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture) 
“Meditation as Clarity, in Light of Zhiyi’s Tiantai Buddhism”

2. Eric Loucks (Director of the Mindfulness Center at Brown University)
 “Planet and People: The Power of Mindful Behavior Change”

3. Bernard Faure (Emeritus Professor at Columbia University)
“Towards a One-dimensional Buddhism? Mindfulness, Neuroscience, and Naturalism”

4. Evan Thompson (Professor of Philosophy at the University of British Columbia)
“Mindfulness as Social Cognition: A View from Cognitive Science”

5. Yit, Kin-Tung (Professor at National Sun Yat-Sen University)
Topic TBC

June 21 Friday 1:30 – 5 pm

Panel 2: AI and Buddhist Ethics

This panel discusses the ethical implications of technological developments from Buddhist philosophical perspectives.

1. Thomas Doctor (Executive Director of the Ranjung Yeshe Institute)
“Building Bodhisattvas: Towards a Model of Powerful, Reliable, and Caring Intelligence”

2. Peter Hershock (Director of Asian Studies at the East-West Center)
“Consciousness Extended Digitally: An Evolutionary Leap or Karmic Digression?”

3. Soraj Hongladarom (Professor at Chulalongkorn University)
“What is the Overall Goal of AI Ethics?”

June 22 Saturday 9 am – 12 pm

Panel 3: AI and Buddhist Metaphysics

This panel thinks about the possibilities and limitations of AI from Buddhist philosophical understandings of intelligence, karma, and consciousness.

1. Christian Coseru (Professor of Philosophy at College of Charleston)
“Engineering Enlightenment? Artificial Minds and the Problems and Perils of Synthetic Phenomenology”

2. Robert Sharf (Professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of California, Berkeley)
“Can AI Meditate? (And Why It Matters)”

3. Georg Northoff (Professor of Medicine at the University of Ottawa)
“Meditation and the Self: Why AI Cannot (Yet) Show Non-dual Awareness”

4. Gereon Kopf (Professor at Luther College) 
“AI, Sentience, and Buddha’s Mind: A Fourth-Person Approach”

5. Cheng, Kaiyuan (Professor at the Institute of Philosophy of Mind and Cognition, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University)
“The Body and the Brain in a Selfless Mindfulness practice of the Zhuangzi”

6. Jundo Cohen (Author of Building the future Buddha)
“Zen of AI, Gene, Saving the Earth and Traveling to the Mars” 

June 22 Saturday 1:30 – 5 pm

Panel 4: Application of AI and Buddhism

This panel explores AI application in Buddhist spaces and Buddhist application in AI spaces.

1. Bill Duane (Principal at Bill Duane and Associates)
“Buddha and the Corporation in an AI world” 

2. James Robson (Professor at Harvard University; Director of Yenching Institute) 
“Space Temple -Buddhist Application of AI in Japan” 

3. Jiryu Rutschman-Byler (Co-Abbot of San Francisco Zen Center)
“Roshibot: A Case Study of AI in American Zen Buddhism”

4. Kumagai, Seiji (Professor at the Institute for the Future of Human Society at Kyoto University) and Furuya, Toshikazu (CEO of Teraverse, Co.) 
“Report on Development of Buddhist Cyber-Physical System: BuddhaBot and Tera-verse” (online)

June 23 Sunday 9 am – 12 pm

Panel 5: AI and The Future of Buddhism

This panel weighs the possibilities of using AI toward Buddhist goals/ discusses positive relationships between AI and humans moving forward

1. Li, Si-chen (Former President of National Taiwan University)
“The Discovery of Internet Universe by Finger Reading Experiments and Its Implication to Consciousness”

2. Olaf Witkowski (Founding Director at Cross Labs) 
“Interwoven Futures: Harmonizing Biological and Technological Minds”

3. Jeanne Lim (Co-founder and CEO of being AI) 
“AI being: Co-Pilot in the Quest for Wisdom and Enlightenment”

4. Pat Pataranutaporn (Program Developer of Media Lab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
“Can AI Help Humans Attain Enlightenment?”


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