The information and technology center at Longquan Temple is working on AI to improve their robot monk Xian’er and organize Chinese Buddhist Canon (大藏经),  the total body of Buddhist canon in Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese, said Xinxian Master of the temple at TechCrunch Hangzhou

The center optimized optical character recognition via machine learning, making the technology more suited for ancient characters. Now, the AI technology can even add punctuation to the ancient texts, notoriously difficult to parse much less understand.

Xian’er, meaning virtuous but stupid in Chinese, is a robot monk. It’s about half a meter tall and holds a tablet in front of his belly. You can either talk to the robot or select questions on the screen. The robot monk also exists in a WeChat mini program. Unlike Siri which answers more down-to-earth questions like “how’s the weather”, Xian’er is designed to tackle metaphysical problems like the meaning of life.

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

What you get

Full access to all premium content and our full archives

Members'-only newsletters

Preferential access and discounts to all TechNode events

Direct access to the TechNode newsroom

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

Jiefei Liu

Jiefei Liu is a Beijing based tech reporter. She focuses on the union of tech and content creation and loves agriculture. You can write to her at Jiefei@technode.com