Is Buddhism the only world religion that will be able to grapple with our emerging reality? Via Institute for Emerging Ethics & Technologies, Andrew Cvercko writes:
Emergent artificial intelligence poses a problem for many religions, especially those that ascribe a special place for humanity and for human consciousness in the cosmos. Buddhism may be the one system of religious thought that not only accepts but will actively embrace any AIs that we produce as a species.
Later [Buddhist] texts illustrate that animal life is just as capable of becoming enlightened as human life is, and recently many Buddhist thinkers have begun to include plant and microbial life as well. Buddhism may have in fact been the first philosophy to find personhood beyond the human. Would it accept artificial intelligence in the same way? The simple answer is that, from a Buddhist view of the mind and consciousness, all intelligence is artificial.
Buddhism famously denies the existence of a “self”. This is a departure from how many people view themselves. Buddhism instead describes living things as composed of five “heaps” or “piles”: our physical forms, our feelings, our perceptions, our mental formations, and our consciousness
None of the heaps are under our control, and none by themselves can be ascribed as who we “are”. Together they create a living thing, but taken apart they are simply temporary amassing of energy that will eventually dissipitate of their own accord.