With the swift rise of artificial intelligence in recent years, questions and concerns about this new technology have permeated our cultural dialogue—and the relationship between AI and humanity’s deepest values has taken on enormous significance. 

What are the most urgent concerns and ethical issues surrounding these emerging technologies? Can artificial intelligence ever become conscious? How is AI already impacting some of our most human qualities—namely, our agency and autonomy? 

Join Tricycle on Thursday, November 17 for a lively conversation at the intersection of Buddhism, ethics, and artificial intelligence. In this hour-long virtual event—hosted as part of Tricycle’s monthly Premium speaker series—Nikki Mirghafori, an Artificial Intelligence scientist and Buddhist meditation teacher, will discuss AI as it relates to questions of consciousness, ethics, selfhood, intentionality, and more. 

Together with Tricycle’s editor-in-chief, James Shaheen, she will explore the rise of AI, the nature of consciousness, potential applications of AI to Buddhist study and practice, and the gifts and threats of AI for humanity. 

Tickets are $10 for general admission and free for Tricycle Premium subscribers. Subscribe to Premium or upgrade your existing subscription for free access.

Sign up now.


Nikki Mirghafori

Nikki Mirghafori, PhD, is a Buddhist teacher and Artificial Intelligence scientist. She is a lineage holder in the Theravada tradition, empowered by the Burmese meditation master Venerable Pa Auk Sayadaw, with whom she practiced the jhanas and detailed analytical (Abhidhamma-style) vipassana. She also received empowerment from the Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Insight Meditation Society, Insight Meditation Center, and is a Stanford-trained compassion cultivation instructor. She serves on the Teachers Council and Board of Directors at the Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California, and is also a Teacher at the Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City, California. Nikki is Iranian-American, has taught contemplative practices internationally, and aspires to serve as a doula for wisdom and compassion.

Additionally, Nikki has been a researcher and inventor in AI, holding multiple patents and coauthoring 40-plus scientific research articles. She has directed international research programs as the Principal Investigator, mentored post-docs and PhD students, taught graduate courses at UC Berkeley, and been a scientific advisor to Silicon Valley technology start-ups.

James Shaheen

James Shaheen, Tricycle’s editor-in-chief, began his Buddhist practice in the mid-1990s, studying with teachers from a number of Buddhist traditions. He is particularly interested in Buddhism’s growth in the West and its applicability to Western politics, culture, and everyday life. He has been with Tricycle for nearly 25 years.


  • Date: November 17, 2022
  • Time: 4-5 pm ET
  • Format: Zoom webinar
  • Price: General admission: $10 // Premium subscribers: Free