Woodenfish Forum on Buddhism, Science & Future: Cyborgs, Artificial Intelligence and Beyond

Sunday, June 11 - Wednesday, June 14, 2017
 Intercontinental Hotel Puxi
Shanghai, P.R. China

This cutting-edge conference brought together an international meeting of the minds to explore Buddhism & Robots, Artificial Intelligence, Neuroscience, Virtual Reality, Meditation Apps, and much more. 

 

BSF conference was held in Shanghai, P.R. China. This is an independent conference run exclusively by Woodenfish Foundation without other affiliations.

 

For more information, please contact buddhatech@woodenfish.org

 

Conference overview

 

Neuroscience, computer science, and other new technologies promise to revolutionize every area of our lives. These promises also extend to our personal and spiritual lives—our happiness, our well-being, our enlightenment. Buddhism’s long advocacy of “technologies of awareness” makes it only natural that it embrace these new technologies as well. Indeed, the interchange among them, especially psychology, neuroscience, and physics, has gone from a trickle to a virtual flood. Beginning millennia ago when Śākyamuni Buddha developed meditation techniques to foster the awakening that he sought—and that are today known throughout the world—this conversation is more important than ever in today’s turbulent world. Tantric practices, visualization exercises, aesthetic practices, and a vast number of other contemplative technologies have been continuously developed, refined, and practiced over the thousands of years of Buddhist history and multiple cultures that have embraced Buddhism. The influence of our mind on every aspect of our physical lives is well accepted in today’s science, and Buddhist practices to that end are also well studied. However, we are very interested in the possibility that in the not-to-distant future we might go from the (now standard) “Change your mind, change your brain” view to something more like, “Change your brain, change your mind.” In other words, we are intrigued by the neurophysiology of “meditate like a Zen master at the push of a button.”

There are many products and plans that promise to duplicate the contemplative experiences that the Buddhists have been pursuing for millennia, and we think that it will be interesting and even fun to think about these things a little bit more systematically. Is it really possible to skip the thirty years meditating in a cave? What are the risks and ethical implications of the “science of happiness,” the neurophysiology of the “lama in the lab,” especially in relation to traditional Buddhist techniques for enhancing human well-being? If there were a pill that exactly duplicated Buddha’s awakening, would you take it? Really? Cyborgs to meditation apps to wearable computers to pharmaceuticals to ethics, all in the service of awakening—these are the topics for symposium. Neuroscience or neuro-phrenology? Buddhism or Buddhism-lite? Hollywood? Business? Join us and find out.

BSF Session Speakers 

Jay Michaelson Ph.D.
Jay Michaelson Ph.D.

Author of six books including "Evolving Dharma: Meditation, Buddhism, and the Next Generation of Enlightenment." Michaelson is a columnist for The Daily Beast and Tricycle magazine. He holds a Ph.D. in religion from Hebrew University, a J.D. from Yale Law School, and nondenominational rabbinic ordination. Jay teaches jhana in the Theravadan lineage of Ven. Ayya Khema and is an affiliated faculty member at Chicago Theological Seminary.

Gino Yu Ph.D.
Gino Yu Ph.D.

Director of Digital Entertainment and Game Development and the Founding Head of the Multimedia Innovation Center at Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Dr. Ben Goertzel is Chief Scientist of robotics firm Hanson Robotics and financial prediction firm Aidyia Holdings; Chairman of AI software company Novamente LLC and bioinformatics company Biomind LLC; Chairman of the Artificial General Intelligence Society and the OpenCog Foundation; Vice Chairman of futurist nonprofit Humanity+; Scientific Advisor of biopharma firm Genescient Corp.; Advisor to the Singularity University and Singularity Institute; Research Professor in the Fujian Key Lab for B

Dr. Venerable Yifa
Dr. Venerable Yifa

Woodenfish Foundation, Founder & President

Dustin DiPerna
Dustin DiPerna

Visionary leader, entrepreneur, and recognized expert in world religions

Dr. Jeffery Martin
Dr. Jeffery Martin

Founder of the Transformative Technology space, serial entrepreneur and social scientist who researches personal transformation and the states of greatest human well-being

Alan Macy
Alan Macy

Research and Development Director, past President and a founder of BIOPAC Systems, Inc.

Carole Griggs Ph.D.
Carole Griggs Ph.D.

iConscious: accelerating human development

Eiyū Kojima
Eiyū Kojima

Abbot of Hōzō-ji, Japan

Robot of Abbot of Hōzō-ji
Robot of Abbot of Hōzō-ji
Niki Smit
Niki Smit

Co-founder of Monobanda PLAY, Creator of Deep VR

Xubo Yang Ph.D.
Xubo Yang Ph.D.

Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Software

Alexander Graur Ph.D.
Alexander Graur Ph.D.

President, Medicamus Italiana Torino

Erik Davis Ph.D.
Erik Davis Ph.D.

author, podcaster, award-winning journalist

Fred Rible
Fred Rible

The Monroe Institute, Board of Directors, Residential Trainer & Outreach Trainer

Asoka Bandarage, Ph.D.
Asoka Bandarage, Ph.D.

Senior Analyst, Professor, Author, Consultant. Steering Committee Member at Interfaith Moral Action on Climate & Freelance Columnist at Huffington Post

Jamie Hubbard Ph.D.
Jamie Hubbard Ph.D.

Smith College, Professor of Religion

Robert Alexander Ph.D.
Robert Alexander Ph.D.

Teaching Fellow, Hong Kong Polytechnic University School. Acting leader of the Media Psychology stream in the Masters In Multimedia and Entertainment Technology Program (MScMET).

James Hughes Ph.D.
James Hughes Ph.D.

Executive Director, Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

Douglas Duckworth Ph.D.
Douglas Duckworth Ph.D.

Temple University, Dept. of Religion

Philip K. Peake Ph.D.
Philip K. Peake Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology, Smith College

Natalie Grigson
Natalie Grigson

Novelist

Owen Harris
Owen Harris

Creator of Deep VR

Jon Solomon Ph.D.
Jon Solomon Ph.D.

Lyon III University, IETT, Faculty Member

Andrew Olendzki Ph.D.
Andrew Olendzki Ph.D.

Integrated Dharma Institute, Senior Scholar

Christine Roy
Christine Roy

PhonicAmbionic, Research and Development. Entrepreneur working on binaural beats and EEG technology

Marcus Bingenheimer Ph.D.
Marcus Bingenheimer Ph.D.

Professor of Religion, Temple University

Robin Arnott
Robin Arnott

Creator of Soundself

Forum Photos, June 11-13, 2017