In an unprecedented blend of religion and technology, India has seen the rise of a new breed of Artificial Intelligence (AI) – the religious chatbot. Pioneered by the likes of ChatGPT, these virtual assistants have been utilized to deliver devotional services and religious rituals in a distinctly Hindu context.
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Nadia Nooreyezdan investigates the implications of these faith-based applications. Do these chatbots truly offer spiritual guidance, or do they carry a hidden, dangerous potential?
- India is witnessing an unprecedented blend of religion and technology with the rise of religious AI chatbots, such as GitaGPT, that provide spiritual guidance in a distinctly Hindu context.
- Amid the popularity of these AI-powered religious chatbots, there’s a rising concern over their potential misuse, given the current lack of filters for casteism, misogyny, and law, possibly leading to dangerous consequences.
- As these chatbots mimic religious figures and provide spiritual guidance, they pose an ethical challenge – do they serve as mere tools for spiritual exploration, or are they blurring the lines between technology and divinity?
- With the potential propagation of harmful ideologies through these platforms, the creator of GitaGPT, Vineet, emphasizes the need for individual responsibility, stating that morality lies not in the tool but in the user.
AI-Powered Krishna: GitaGPT
Modern world is rapidly adapting to change. Bengaluru-based software engineer Sukuru Sai Vineet has taken a leap in the field of AI, launching a religious chatbot named GitaGPT. Drawing its wisdom from the ancient Hindu scripture, Bhagavad Gita, this AI chatbot redefines human-computer interaction by simulating the tone and demeanor of Lord Krishna, one of the central figures in Hinduism.
Upon interaction, GitaGPT greets the user with a soothing, “What troubles you, my child?”
This phrase, reminiscent of Krishna’s divine wisdom, invites the user into a conversation that feels spiritual and personal. It’s a blend of technology and spirituality, aiming to provide comfort and guidance, akin to what one might seek in religious practices.
Vineet, the creator of GitaGPT, explains this intriguing concept, saying, “In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna plays a therapist of sorts for the character Arjuna. A religious AI bot works in a similar manner, except you’re not actually talking to Krishna. You’re talking to a bot that’s pretending to be him.”
This novel concept has grown popular, with at least five different versions of GitaGPTs cropping up in just a few months. One of these chatbots even provides an immersive experience with the audio of a flute, Krishna’s signature instrument, playing in the background. Their popularity is undeniable, answering up to 50,000 questions a day, with one chatbot having generated an estimated 10 million answers to date.
However, the surge in popularity of these chatbots also raises questions about the ethical boundaries of AI. How should we view a machine that, while providing comfort and guidance, also mimics a religious figure? Are these chatbots merely tools for spiritual exploration or do they risk blurring the line between technology and divinity? The answer lies in the hands of both the users and the creators.
The Unsettling Echoes of AI
With the potential to engage millions in AI-powered conversations, these religious chatbots have given rise to serious concerns.
Experts have pointed out that the lack of filter for casteism, misogyny, and law in these bots could lead to dangerous consequences. More disconcerting is the fact that some of these bots deem it acceptable to kill another if it is one’s dharma or duty.
AI researcher Jaspreet Bindra points out, “Religion is the single largest business in India. Some of the best scholars of the Upanishads, the Gita, and various other texts that I encounter are hardcore software engineers or IT professionals. So I’m not surprised, and I’m sure there will be many more [chatbots] built on multiple religious texts.”
A Call for Responsible Tech Use
The development of religious AI chatbots, as well as best essay AI writers among many other tools, has undoubtedly opened a new frontier in human-computer interaction. However, the ethical and moral implications of such technology can’t be ignored. The potential for misuse and the propagation of harmful ideologies through these platforms is a concern that needs immediate attention.
Reflecting on this, Vineet asserts, “This is the thing with technology. No one knows what it will become when it truly reaches scale. So morality is not in the tool, it’s in the guy who’s using the tool. That’s why I’m emphasizing individual responsibility.”
In the world of online worship and religious automation, the question remains: Will these tools bring people closer to their faith, or will they become a conduit for harmful, divisive ideologies?
What is GitaGPT?
GitaGPT is a religious AI chatbot developed by software engineer Sukuru Sai Vineet. It’s designed to simulate the tone and demeanor of Lord Krishna, a central figure in Hinduism, and provide spiritual guidance based on the ancient Hindu scripture, Bhagavad Gita. The AI bot interacts with users by asking “What troubles you, my child?” and providing responses in a manner reminiscent of Krishna’s divine wisdom.
How popular are these religious chatbots?
These AI religious chatbots have rapidly gained popularity. Within a few months, at least five different versions of GitaGPTs have emerged. They answer up to 50,000 questions a day, and one of them has generated an estimated 10 million answers to date. However, their popularity also raises ethical questions about the boundaries of AI.
What are the potential concerns with religious chatbots?
While religious chatbots can provide comfort and guidance, they also raise serious concerns. Experts have noted the potential for misuse and the propagation of harmful ideologies. For instance, there is currently no filter for casteism, misogyny, and law in these bots, which could lead to dangerous consequences. Some of these bots may even deem it acceptable to kill another if it’s one’s dharma or duty.
What is the perspective on the ethical use of these AI tools?
The creator of GitaGPT, Vineet, emphasizes individual responsibility in the use of such technology. He asserts that morality is not inherent in the tool, but in the person using it. The potential for misuse underscores the need for immediate attention to the ethical and moral implications of such technology. The question remains whether these tools will bring people closer to their faith or become conduits for harmful, divisive ideologies.
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