but how cool would that be?
Xian’er was at first a cartoon and is now a robot that helps spread Buddhism at a 500 year old Temple in China. He is so cute.
(Video not in English, but you can get a better look at him.)
Right now he is just a novelty, a draw for tourists and a means of spreading the message in a way a novel way that may reach a new generation.
Interestingly enough, in Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter's The Long Earth series the first true synthetic intelligence believes itself to be the riencarnation of a Tibetan motorcycle repairman named Lobsang.
Technically, in Buddhism there is no reincarnation, but rather a continuation of consciousness that proceeds from one life to the next but is distinct in each (to put a vastly complicated issue into overly simple terms). So, perhaps if they are correct, our little friend Xian'er may one day progress -after his battery dies and he is replaced with a newer model - to be a Tibetan motorcycle repairman and then to a vast synthetic intelligence network that spans universes.
But in my head he zips into a tiny alcove to merge with a giant mecha to fight 100 foot tall ancient demons.
But that is just me.