Mindar 「マインダー」 - The first android priest robot conceived in cooperation between the Koudaiji, a Buddhist temple in Kyoto, and Intelligent Robotics Laboratory.
Mindar 「マインダー」ー Le premier robot androïde destiné à la prêtrise conçu en coopération entre le Koudaiji, un temple bouddhiste de Kyoto, et Intelligent Robotics Laboratory (pour un coût d'1 million de dollars).Any suggestion, improvement…? Many thanks and please, contact us…
We are in Kyoto and our attention is caught by a "Buddhist priest", as there have been so many others since the Buddha's teaching touched Japanese soil nearly 1500 years ago. We could, moreover, widen our gaze to the other countries where Buddhism spread adopting the path of Mahayana, Theravada or Vajrayana ... Yet nowhere else would we find in this germinal hour the same "priesthood" and for good reason: here we are in front of a humanoid robot conceived in cooperation with the temple of Kōdai-ji 高 台 寺, named in memory of the nun Kōdai, widow of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who established it in 1606 ... hear the temple, not the robot! This is another achievement of Hiroshi Ishiguro's laboratory, Intelligent Robotics. The result is at the height of this type of project: a robotic assembly partially covered with silicone, giving the illusion of the skin (uncanny valley). As for the staging: a room dedicated to the temple where Mindar, that's its name, recites sutras particularly insisting on the concept of 空 (kuu), "emptiness", in order to repel the illusions of vanity, desire, anger or ego. If you think of a new confrontation between traditionalists and moderns, between fanatics of renewal and opponents anchored in their certainties, you will be served, the opportunity is too good not to share feelings of wonder or exasperation! But we may also listen to the monk Tensho Goto: "Buddhism is not a belief in a god, it is to pursue the path of Buddha (...) and it does not matter if it is represented by a machine, a piece of scrap metal or a tree "(AFP) ... Or: "The big difference between a monk and a robot is that we are going to die, while he will meet a lot of people and store a lot of information that will make it evolve to infinity". So, in the end, and this will be the very purpose of these Digital Chronicles, two sets of questions come to mind. First, simply (1): what are the good questions to ask? For example, should we be "for" or "against"? What do such perspectives guarantee in terms of spirituality and/or belief? Or have we found a solution to the vocations’ crisis? ... A thousand more will follow. But also (2), in this period of a real confusion of the language, do we have the dedicated concepts to name and think this situation? For instance, should we speak of a "robot priest", "prêtre robot" or "sacerdote robot"? Or would we be wiser to evoke an "android Kannon", ン ド イ イ ド 観 音 (andoroido kan'non), bodhisattva of compassion that this realization is a high-tech version. Moreover, shall we remind that Professor Ishiguro referring to another Japanese spirituality, Shintoism, declared: "According to Shintoism, everything is endowed with a soul, so why not robots? »... This is a debate that is not close to ending...
Decryption of the pantopic (from L to R): robot / shape / human being / for / activity / religion / Japan
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Kyoto temple puts faith in robot priest, drawing praise from Japanese but scorn from Westerners… BY ALASTAIR HIMMER… “A 400-year-old temple is attempting to hot-wire interest in Buddhism with a robotic priest it believes will change the face of the religion”… ““This robot will never die; it will just keep updating itself and evolving,” said priest Tensho Goto. “That’s the beauty of a robot. It can store knowledge forever and limitlessly.” “With AI we hope it will grow in wisdom to help people overcome even the most difficult troubles. It’s changing Buddhism,” he added” (source: japantimes.co.jp - 08/2019)