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Cute robotic monk knows the meaning of life

Engadget Engadget 29/04/2016 Mariella Moon
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The Longquan (Dragon Spring) Temple in Beijing is spreading Buddhist teachings with the help of an adorable, two-foot-tall monk. His name is Xian'er, and he's a robot with a touchscreen chest. The temple teamed up with a dozen local tech and culture companies to create Xian'er, according to The New York Times. Xian Fan, the head of the temple's Comic Center, which designed the robot and publishes Buddhist comics, says the machine demonstrates that "science and Buddhism don't clash or contradict each other."

Xian'er's touchscreen chest gives him a way to answer questions, such as "What is the meaning of life?" To which he'd reply: "My master says the meaning of life is to help more people finally leave behind bitterness and gain happiness." He also has a WeChat account under the name 贤二机器僧 where he talks with people who can't go to the temple, though we couldn't seem to find and add him when we tried. The temple's human monks have no plans to mass produce Xian'er, but they're already working on a smarter, more advanced robot that might be able to impart more wisdom.

The New York Times

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