Human Flourishing through Models of Care and Intelligence
TWCF Number
Project Duration
July 28 / 2023
- June 28 / 2024
Core Funding Area
Big Questions
Amount Awarded

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Thomas Doctor
Institution Center for the Study of Apparent Selves

The Buddhist tradition teaches that a radical expansion of intelligence arises from a radical expansion of care. A project team led by Thomas Doctor at Center for the Study of Apparent Selves (CSAS) argues artificial intelligence (AI) cannot emulate human intelligence unless it is imbued with the capacity of care.

"Caring for" is epitomized in the Buddhist tradition by an embracing stance associated with the character of the Bodhisattva, a person on the path toward becoming a Buddha. Drawing from Buddhist philosophy, evolutionary biology, and AI theory, CSAS explores the interconnectedness of stress, care, and intelligence. The group aims to advance development of an AI agent with characteristics of the Bodhisattva, and to gather AI researchers and Buddhist scholars/teachers to consider this and other lessons from the Buddhist wisdom tradition.

The group is planning an initial gathering followed by intense collaboration. A final meeting in the Himalayas is expected to lead to a collected volume or special edition of a journal. They will also pursue a "story-telling" avenue to bring the general concepts to a broader audience both in the tech sector and the general public.

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