One thought on “Review: The Ethics of AI and Robotics”

  1. Adding speculations upon speculations, we may add another possible line of inquiry. I cant’ remember exactly which one, but in an early Mind and Life encounter between the Dalai Lama and Francisco Varela, they discussed the possibility that a sattva-sentient-being could incarnate or embody in a sufficiently complex robot or computer. The Dalai Lama said with humor to Varela that it could perhaps happen, and added with a huge laugh that persons like him, Francisco, would be a perfect candidate, due to imprints.

    In Mahāyāna it is accepted that bodhisattvas can embody in objects, such as a boat, in order to save those in danger of being drought. So they may embody with ease in a benevolent computer or robot.

    And according to some Tibetan oral teachings I’ve heard, even though generally some kinds of spirits are said to inhabit trees or mountains, for example, it happens that some take an object, natural or not, as body. There is a strange story of a monk who was washing his belt in a river, leaving it to soak all night, only to find the next morning that the belt had turned into a strange being that had a head with eyes in place of the buckle and a swinging body.

    So yes, in Buddhist science fiction, a bodhisattva embodied in a super algorithm or a spirit embodied in an infernal machine is limited only by our imagination. Henceforth, in terms of ethics, all that is needed is a super knowledge to decide what is what.

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