Building a Buddhist Chatbot (NORBU-AI)

Published on Apr 26, 2024

Summary:

Brother Lim Kooi Fong shared the inspirational story behind NORBU, a pioneering Buddhist AI chatbot designed to promote mindfulness and spiritual growth through open dialogue. He was inspired by the Dalai Lama’s call to spread the Nalanda tradition of Buddhist learning through open discourse. This led him to create NORBU, a pioneering AI chatbot that provides a safe, non-judgmental space for individuals to explore personal struggles, ethical dilemmas, and spiritual questions related to Buddhism. Drawing from diverse traditions and authoritative sources, NORBU guides users through a process of honest self-reflection, applying Buddhist teachings to cultivate greater mindfulness and facilitate positive growth. With its commitment to inclusivity, accuracy, and the principle of Brahma Vihara, NORBU represents a innovative approach to making the Dhamma accessible and fostering mindful conversations that can spark personal transformation.

About the Speaker:

Bro. Lim Kooi Fong has been a student of Buddhism and Dharma teacher for more than 30 years. He is the founder of the Buddhist AI Chatbot NORBU (https://norbu-ai.org), the Buddhist Channel (buddhistchannel.tv) and Buddhist Travel (buddhistravel.com). He is a life member of Upakara Kalyana Mitta Buddhist Assocation (UKMBA). He currently manages a bioinformatics company based in Cyberjaya. He actively conducts Dharma talks for Buddhist societies around Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

Takeaways:

The Spark of Inspiration

Bro. Kooi Fong’s journey began after attending a conference where the Dalai Lama emphasized the importance of preserving and spreading the Nalanda tradition of Buddhist learning through debate and discourse. This idea resonated deeply with Kooi Fong, leading him to explore the rich history of the Nalanda University, where monks from around the world gathered to discuss and understand the Dhamma through rigorous debate.

An Unexpected Encounter

During a stopover in Bangkok, Kooi Fong was struck by the sight of a prominent Tibetan Thangka painting in a Theravada Buddhist center, further fueling his curiosity about the interconnectedness of Buddhist traditions. Upon returning home, he delved into research on the Nalanda tradition, realizing the profound impact it had on the spread of Buddhism worldwide.

NORBU’s Approach: Acknowledge, Reflect, and Grow

When presented with a personal dilemma or ethical quandary, NORBU guides users through a thoughtful process of acknowledgement, reflection, and mindful action. First, it encourages individuals to confront their issues honestly, without avoidance or denial. Next, it prompts self-reflection on the root causes and potential consequences of their thoughts or actions. Finally, NORBU offers Buddhist teachings, meditation techniques, and suggestions for seeking further guidance or counselling, empowering users to cultivate greater self-awareness and make positive changes.

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As Brother Kooi Fong eloquently states, “The world can only change if people change themselves.” With NORBU, he has created a powerful tool to facilitate that inner transformation, one mindful conversation at a time.

Resources:

For individuals: Use Norbu-AI here
For Buddhist societies: Integrate NORBU-AI Chatbot on your webpage. Contact Bro Lim here: [email protected]

Special thanks to our sponsors:

Buddhist Youth Network, Lim Soon Kiat, Alvin Chan, Tan Key Seng, Soh Hwee Hoon, Geraldine Tay, Venerable You Guang, Wilson Ng, Diga, Joyce, Tan Jia Yee, Joanne, Suñña, Shuo Mei, Arif, Bernice, Wee Teck, Andrew Yam, Kan Rong Hui, Wei Li Quek, Shirley Shen, Ezra, Joanne Chan, Hsien Li Siaw, Gillian Ang, Wang Shiow Mei, Ong Chye Chye, Melvin, Yoke Kuen

Editor and transcriber of this episode: 

Cheryl Cheah, Susara Ng, Ke Hui Tee

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Author:

Cheryl

Cheryl loves figuring out life and writing about it. Topics of interest include mental and physical health, mindfulness, self-improvement and the occasional writing that doesn't fall into any of these categories. I accept anonymous feedback here-https://forms.gle/phawh7PkzfB9qdKp6! For more articles, you may find me here @ eecherncheryl.medium.com

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