Zen and the art of robot maintenance: Resident AI monk dazzles temple-goers

Source:Global Times Published: 2016-4-7 19:33:01

Photo: Wang Jianing from The Beijing News

At Beijing's Longquan Temple, enlightenment may be a power switch away.

Xian'er, the resident robot monk, is an attempt to deliver ancient Buddhist wisdom wrapped in the latest AI, temple officials said. 

Complete with saffron robe and touch screen tablet, the knee-high Xian'er can move around, recite sutras and have simple chats with humans.

The AI-enabled robot can handle basic questions - and gracefully deflect harder ones. 

Though some have offered to purchase the one-of-a-kind robot, Xian'er is not for sale, according to Xianfan, the temple's abbot.

"What we do is not for commercial gain. We are trying to communicate Buddhist doctrine in a modern way, " the abbot said.

Xian'er's AI quips and cute face have earned him a large following on Sina Weibo, with some visiting the temple to see out their monk hero.

Xian'er is also on the move. Since his debut in October, Xian'er has appeared at many events, such as the World Robot Exhibition in Beijing.

The Beijing News

Posted in: Odd News

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