A Research Team Consisting of Associate Professor Seiji Kumagai et al. Has Created an AI-Based Chatbot Called “Buddhabot”
The research team consisting of Seiji Kumagai (Associate Professor, KRC), Toshikazu Furuya (CEO, Quantum Analytics Inc.), Koshin Higashifushimi (Deputy Chief Priest, Tendai School Shoren-in Temple) et al. have developed an AI-based chatbot called “Buddhabot,” which answers the worries of people and social issues from a Buddhist perspective.
Google’s BERT algorithm was applied to this system. After machine learning of a Q&A list extracted from the ancient Buddhist scripture, Suttanipata, the “Buddhabot” has been able to answer user’s questions in sentences, although problems with accuracy still remain.
It is believed that Buddhism in Japan has unfortunately grown apart from people’s ordinary life and has lost its substance. The current situation is often ridiculed as “Buddhism only for a funeral.” In order to revive Buddhism, it will be necessary to restore the original role of Buddhism, namely, the teaching of how to be happy.
The technology of the “Buddhabot” is expected to be applied not only to academic research and the Buddhist world, but also to mental health, consulting, and education industries. It will also be applied to the “Psyche Navigation System,” a new technology developed and advocated by a research group led by Prof. Kumagai and selected as a project of the MILLENNIA program (Multifaceted investigation challenge for new normal initiatives program), held by Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) as one of the Moonshot R & D project. However, there is a risk that misuse or abuse of the system could lead users down the wrong path, so careful attention is required for the public release.
The research results were presented at the RIEC International Symposium “When AI Meets Human Science,” held on March 12th, 2021.
A press conference was held at Kyoto University on March 26th, 2021, and was reported by various media both in Japan and abroad.
http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/photo/38954863 (*English version/Asahi Shimbun)
https://hk.on.cc/hk/bkn/cnt/intnews/20210327/bkn-20210327213028488-0327_00992_001.html (*Chinese version/RTHK News)
https://orientaldaily.on.cc/cnt/china_world/20210328/00180_035.html (*Chinese version/昔日東方)
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20210327/k10012938991000.html (*Japanese version/NHK)
https://www.asahi.co.jp/webnews/pages/abc_10110.html (*Japanese version/ABC TV, Asahi Broadcasting Group)
https://www.asahi.com/articles/ASP3V5HHJP3VPLBJ001.html (*Japanese version/Asahi Shimbun)
https://www.kyoto-np.co.jp/articles/-/537180 (*Japanese version/Kyoto Shimbun)
https://note.com/bunkajiho/n/nc15e5526ce25 (*Japanese version/Bunkajiho)
https://www.chugainippoh.co.jp/article/news/20210402-001.html (*Japanese version/Chugainippoh)
https://www.kyoto-u.ac.jp/ja/research-news/2021-03-26-3 (*Japanese version/Kyoto University)
https://twitter.com/univkyoto/status/1375367937385758721 (*Japanese version/Kyoto University’s Twitter)
*Newspaper (Japanese version only)
Asahi Shimbun (Column in the local news page, March 27, 2021)
Kyoto Shimbun (Column in the local news page, p.3 and 31, March 27, 2021)
Bunkajiho (on the front page, April 1, 2021)
Chugainippoh (on the front page, April 2, 2021)
*Radio (broadcasting in Japanese)
A daytime radio program in TBS Radio (『赤江珠緒たまむすび』「週刊ニッポンの空気」) on March 29, 2021