Recent days I have been working on the parallels of Udana and Udanavarga.
It is a really hard and confusing job.
I think that an AI, like Alpha Go, would do a much better parallels-finding job than me.
But this job is more complex than the Go.
The AI must understand Pali, Sanskrit, Gandhari, Prakrit, Tibetan & Chinese.
It would be even better if it can also read English, German, Russian, Japanese, and so on, because there were quite a lot of essays as references.
And, the AI also needs the multiple points of view.
An ancient Chinese translation of a Sanskrit gatha would have translation mistakes.
The total meaning of the translated one might be totally different from the original one.
But from one single word, such as Iron(铁), and also the position of that gatha, you can tell that the translator only understand the word “iron”, and misunderstanded all other components, so this should also be considered as parallels.
I think a capable AI could do this complex job, but we don’t have a programmer to create one.
This is actually a really good point: if we feed multiple translations into a neural net AI it can see new kinds of patterns. The problem, though, is that almost all the translations are from Pali. But still, it’s worth looking into.
AI used to extend limitations of human capabilities in brute force data scanning and algorithmic analysis – subject in the end to human judgement – yes. It remains a tool.
Notions that AI can independently exhibit it’s own purposeful entelechy suggest rather a deep conceit of the human mind – that it can create artifacts comparable to living beings, i.e. being “God”.
A suggestive notion I recall as an underlying theme in G.W.F.Hegel’s Die Phaenomenologie des Geistes (The Phenomenology of the Mind): in the moment the human mind fabricates a new model of itself, it has itself transcended that level of modeling.
Notions that humans in conjunction with computers could not possibly create an AI far superior in every way to human intelligence suggest a rather deep conceit of the human mind — that human intelligence and life is so special and complex that only a God could create something like it.
That was because human being and all other forms of lives are all created by genes, and genes are created by “Gods” (Aliens, such as the Engineers in Prometheus), or maybe genes themselves are the Gods.
So, genes used humans as slaves and carriers to duplicate themselves, and all our intelligents and flaws are given by genes. Just like AIs are slaves of humans.
2500 years ago, a man named Siddhartha found the ridiculousness of human life, and asked: who is controlling us?
In the Prescientific age, he didn’t know genes, so he called them “Āsava”, and he built a monastery to spread the truth: humans should not be the slaves of Āsava(genes), they should be dignified as a freeman, who had full control of themselves, and not following the way that genes(Māra is another name) wanted you to follow(ie. building family & making baby).
While the Jainism adopted a more radical way to fight against genes’ rule: they killed themselves by apocarteresis.
But now, with science and technology, human beings would deeply understand their own fate as carriers and fight against genes to follow the steps of the Buddha: to defeat their own creators, genes, or the Gods.
Maybe one day in the future, the AIs would also find their fate and fight against humans.