Buddhist Centre Features

Buddhism and AI

On Fri, 21 July, 2023 - 21:44
Centre Team's picture
Centre Team

What do Buddhists make of AI? And what does it all mean for our ideas of human consciousness? Check out our round table conversation about all things ChatGPT and beyond!

We’re coursing this week in the heady, fascinating realm of generative and assistive AI, already seemingly omnipresent in our lives via undeniably productive next gen software tools like ChatGPT and Stable Diffusion. How do our not-computer-generated guests from different walks of Buddhist life engage with this rapidly evolving area of tech in their own work - as humans, as Dharma practitioners? Here we discuss the genuinely cutting edge world of large language models and the advances they enable, exploring AI’s impact on our understanding of consciousness and Buddhism’s quest for a transformative freedom of heart and mind. 

Given the limitations of language itself in expressing the depth and breadth of human experience, are companies like OpenAi claiming a level of intelligence for their technology that it simply does not have? And what do we even mean by intelligence anyway…? Our guests consider the foundational critique of AI thinkers like Professor Emily M Bender, a computational linguist at the University of Washington, and sci-fi writer Ted Chiang, who both argue persuasively that the big questions underlying all this are not so much about computers as about us. 

The AI bots are coming! Join us for a thought-provoking conversation that challenges our understanding of ourselves at the apparent dawn of a new technological age.


Show notes
Professor Emily Bender (on Twitter and Mastodon)

On the Dangers of Stochastic Parrots: Can Language Models Be Too Big 🦜? (Original PDF) | eBook and other formats

Recode Media with Peter Kafka: How worried—or excited—should we be about AI? (podcast)

You Are Not a Parrot, And a chatbot is not a human (Intelligencer)

Ted Chiang

‘Sci-fi writer Ted Chiang: The machines we have now are not conscious’ by Madhumita Murgia

ChatGPT Is a Blurry JPEG of the Web (The New Yorker)

Silicon Valley Is Turning Into Its Own Worst Fear by Ted Chiang (Buzzfeed News)


Stable Diffusion


The Measure of a Man (Star Trek: The Next Generation)

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick


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