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First time poster here. I am very new to buddhism, so my understanding is very basic. My previous world views were very materialistic and deterministic. It might not be surprising that the most confusing concept I find so far is rebirth.

Lets take this theoretical situation: We created AI that is indistinguishable from a human, capable of superior understanding of all the scientific concepts known to human and beyond.

  • Will something have to be rebirth into it?

  • Imagine this AI starts to multiplicate unstoppably, from where will we source all the consciousness to get rebirth into it?

Thank you for your help!

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    Well to Buddhism SE. Interesting questions. However you will get a better response with a more focussed question. Would you consider splitting you question in two - one for each bullet point. – Crab Bucket Apr 19 '15 at 16:53
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    Crab, thank you for suggestion. I will do that. – Neithrik Apr 19 '15 at 16:57
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    Can an AI examine itself and make decisions to improve its "thinking" to align with Buddist ideals? YES, of course! Can an AI meditate and produce the same results that a human can? It can achieve some insight and improve its logic towards right thought and right action, but cannot achieve much else. Can an AI become enlightened? I am not qualified to answer that. Great thought provoker of a question! – Yoda Bytes Apr 23 '15 at 20:44
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AI no matter how sophisticated, is still just a sophisticated computer. It can even be 100% "human-like" but it's still not "human". See John Searle's Chinese room experiment for more details.

  • This is the exact argument I was looking for. – Neithrik Apr 20 '15 at 8:11
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AI is a concept. Not a reality. AI in essence is simply electrified hardware. A computer is Rupa. Electricity is Rupa. There has to be Nama involved to talk about rebirth or having a consciousness. A computer might beat a man in Chess. But it's still just matter. No mind involved.

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    I am talking about human like AI. AI will get to the point where it might be indistinguishable from a human, what then? Theoretically: imagine AI capable of creativity and understanding of a human. – Neithrik Apr 19 '15 at 20:49
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    A computer can be intelligent and smarter than a human. Isn't that how a computer beats you at chess? :) One can also make a computer emulate human emotions. But it doesn't matter as long as there's no Nama. – Sankha Kulathantille Apr 20 '15 at 7:46

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