While thinking about artificial intelligence and Buddhism to write a paper for this: https://networks.h-net.org/node/73374/announcements/1351658/artificial-intelligence-buddhism-8th-world-youth-buddhist
I was inspired by two institutions: future of life and future of humanity. Both are concerned with how AI will impact our future. Both of course are not concerned with how Buddhism will be impacted. So it’s up to Buddhists to figure out how to navigate the ever changing future ahead if we wish for the boat of Buddhism to remain afloat braving the oncoming storms.
A simple google shows no Buddhist organizations has been set up yet to just look into the future and present, and to advise the rest of the Buddhist world on how best to react to a certain new development or better yet to proactively preprepare for oncoming changes so that we not only will not be left behind, but come out ahead as world leaders.
One missed opportunity was to warn Buddhist monks about the dangers of smartphones, mobile internet and online free porn. I heard 100,000 monks in Myanmar disrobed after smartphones are out and people actually donate them plus internet access to monks. A preventive step would be to root hack all smartphones to be given to monks to be inaccessible to porn sites and made kids friendly and advice all lay Buddhist to only gift monks these special custom made phones.
Future opportunities and dangers are abound, which the future of Buddhism institute will investigate, come out with a solution or advice and help spread the word.
Here are a few topics off the top of my mind:
- AI and Buddhism, (robot kapiya, dangers and opportunities)
- Economic change and Buddhism (how should we tell our governments that monks don’t accept money if universal basic income is established and everyone is automatically given digital currency as the income)
- Space travel and Buddhism: how to modify the not eating at improper times rule on other planets instead of depending on dawn and solar noon. Establishing a Buddhist planet, pros and cons.
- Using secular Buddhism as a means for the scientifically inclined to come into Buddhism, but ensuring that it doesn’t end up replacing Buddhism entirely.
- Supporting rebirth research, aiming for scientifically prefect standard case of rebirth investigations for all or most future cases, reviewing past cases.
- Buddhism and gaming, using gaming as an entryway into Buddhism, how to design a Buddhist game.
- Solution to war, an alternative to weapons development, using the dhamma. As future weapons can be more scary than nuclear, how can we change humanity (other than to convert everyone to become Buddhist or enlightened) to make war outdated and therefore weapons outdated.
- Science education for Buddhist Sangha. There exist many diverse background of Buddhist Sangha which may or may not have known proper science, so it’s good to educate them the correct science (not climate denial, or antivaxx) so that they can have good working knowledge of the world. Especially if they are to represent buddhism in interfaith events, or to attract well educated followers who are new to Buddhism.
- Vegan for Buddhism, short of making it compulsory, how to continuing promoting veganism to Buddhists until it is no longer an issue for global warming and animal cruelty.
- Women in Buddhism: to continue to change Buddhism to be fair to women in terms of opportunities and many other stuffs.
- Future topics group: Any other topic as new technology emerge. To recommend establishing a new department as the field matures to merit it and to retire old departments which are no longer required.
- Outreach and support group: to outreach to all Buddhist organizations the results of research and get support to fund the institute.
What do you guys and gals think?