Hualin International Journal of Buddhist Studies: E-journal, Vol 3.2, Duckworth

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Hualin International Journal of Buddhist Studies 3.2 (2020): 27–37; https://dx.doi.org/10.15239/hijbs.03.02.02
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buddhism and Technology, and Epigraphy)

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A Buddhist Contribution to Artificial Intelligence?

Douglas DUCKWORTH
Temple University
duckworth@temple.edu

Abstract: Significant questions confront Buddhist traditions in the wake of emergent technologies: can the human body be configured in a certain way, such that it reveals a new world or environment to inhabit beyond optimized self-preservation or survival? Can we manipulate our bodies with technologies—inhibited (or enhanced) by a chemical, a trauma, a contemplative technique, or an implant—such that we are reoriented to a transformed and liberating understanding of the nature of the world and our being in it? As new technologies enhance certain domains of cognitive performance by modelling and extending the structure and capacities of cognition, Buddhism, with a theory of mind and mental development in the absence of an independent essence, owner, or agent like a self, can potentially be a valuable resource. Buddhism provides a useful theoretical foundation to articulate not only the potentials for engineering intelligence, but also by identifying problems in this project.

Keywords: Artificial Intelligence (AI), predispositions, Buddhism, karma, cognitive science

 

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