Buddhist temple has cartoon-like robot monk to engage the new generation

A Buddhist temple on the outskirts of Beijing has embraced technology and debuted a robot monk in a bid to attract new followers to the faith. The cartoon-like creation, dubbed Xian’er, wears a yellow robe and has a shaved head, and can recite mantras and answer 20 simple questions about Buddhism and the daily lifestyle at the Lonquan temple from an attached screen. Developed as a joint project between a technology company and artificial intelligence (AI) experts from some of the top universities in China, the bot signals a new era for Buddhism in contemporary culture. The two-foot tall robot is already making its mark and has become a hit on Chinese social media platform Weibo,amassing more than 300,000 followers on the Chinese micro-blogging site, according to the International Business…


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