Boggle, the internet giant, today announced the latest advance in its joint partnership with the World Trade Forum to harness the miracle of AI to eliminate human error by eliminating human jobs. At a conference attended by thousands of tech entrepreneurs, Anna Norma Sego, Boggle’s VP for AI development, unveiled RoboGuru, a robot that allows users to design their own Buddhist teachers, thus putting an end to the scandals and inefficiencies that have plagued the business of teaching dharma for millennia.
“Who wants to listen to dharma you don’t want to listen to?” Sego asked. “And who wants to put up with personality quirks and moral failings in teachers that you yourself haven’t okayed in advance? RoboGuru puts you in the driver’s seat to specify what dharma you’ll hear, how you’ll hear it, and what sort of teacher you want to interact with. Our slogan throughout the design process has been, ‘Your dharma, your way.’”
A brief video then demonstrated some of the features of the new robot, which will come in three main models, RoboRoshi, RoboLama, and Robo Vipassana Awakening Coach, or RoboVac for short. Utilizing the latest advances in Chat Godlike Predatory Tech (ChatGPT), each model will draw on the thousands of dharma talks available online to deliver dharma to the user’s specifications. Although ChatGPT already allows for countless ways of mashing up dharma themes from different Buddhist and non-Buddhist schools, RoboGuru will make the beginning user’s task easier by offering such pre-designed eclecticism settings as DzogZen, ChristZen, VipasZenna, and VipassaRumi. Topic profiles will include filters that can block such unpopular topics as precepts, karma, rebirth, and nirvana. Users will also be able to set the difficulty level for how demanding their personal path to enlightenment will be.
As for teacher profiles, users will be able to specify RoboGuru’s genders, if any, and to choose among a long menu of settings that will determine, among other things, whether the robot will make inappropriate sexual advances, only appropriate sexual advances, or, for spiritual minors, no sexual advances at all. Boggle has also engaged a long roster of sports and entertainment celebrities to contribute to RoboGuru’s extensive voice menu. Featured options will include Snoop Dzoggchen, Jhanafer Anniston, Denzel Washingtantra, Ajahn Travolta, Ellen DanaGeneris, Mel Gibzen, and Kermetta the Frog.
RoboGuru will come with a two-tiered pricing option: an ad-free Premium version, aimed at advanced Mahayana students, and a dana-based Freeloader version for Hinayana students, which will include mandatory dana-appeals with each dharma talk, along with ads tailored to the user’s favorite mental poison—greed, aversion, or delusion.
After the video, Sego accepted questions from the audience. When asked about the greatest challenges Boggle engineers faced in designing RoboGuru, she responded, “Getting some variety in the talks for RoboVac. I mean, how many ways can you say, ‘Just learn to accept everything’ without getting boring? We came to understand why Vipassana teachers are always combining their teachings with other topics, like raisin-savoring and current social issues, just to keep interest up. The RoboRoshi talks, on the other hand, were a breeze. We simply removed all requirements for reason and accountability, and realistic Zen talks just poured out of the program. As for RoboLama, our algorithms will have to remain a proprietary secret, in keeping with tradition.”
When asked if Boggle and the WTF expected any legal action from GI (Genuine Intelligence) dharma teachers over the way ChatGPT will be harvesting their online talks for corporate profit, Sego stated, “Don’t worry, we’ve already consulted with our lawyers on that point. Our position is that the dharma was originally offered free of charge, so any actual dharma in the talks of GI teachers is already in the public domain. And if they want to lay claim to dharma original with them, we’ll argue that their teaching on no self leaves them no legal leg to stand on.”
A brief commotion occurred when a reporter representing the Union of Socialist Buddhists asked Sego why Boggle and the WTF were eliminating harmless jobs when a real dharma project would be to design AI bankers, politicians, and corporate executives programmed to work for the actual good of the world. However, a small phalanx of Boggle RoboGuards efficiently escorted the offending reporter from the premises, and order was swiftly restored.
As a final note, Sego stated that although RoboGuru represents an important step forward in eliminating the element of human error in the quest for enlightenment, Boggle has set its sights on eradicating that element entirely, which is why they are already working on the companion to RoboGuru: RoboYogi, the AI meditation student who will do all the work of gaining enlightenment for you.
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