AI + Ahimsa?

When the first telephone arrived in India, Gandhi was one of its first users! Would he be using ChatGPT today? How would he imagine AI could enhance Ahimsa? Post independence, when asked about his greatest fear for the country, Gandhi replied: “Heartless intellectuals.” How, then, do we add heart to our technologies? Could AI come to enhance Ahimsa? We don’t know but we’re coming together for an evening of uncommon dialogue, at the intersection of technology, community and compassion.

Ahimsa is a Sanskrit word that is loosely translated as "nonviolence", or the absence of violence. However, after a life singularly focused on its pursuit, Gandhi referred to ahimsa as the activation of a far deeper force. He felt that just as scientists work wonders by investigating the laws of nature, each one of us could unlock "infinitely more wonderful and subtler" capacities by aligning with the "Law of Love". Although he said it was "beyond my powers" to articulate its science, he emphatically noted -- from first-hand experience -- that it operates with even more precision than electricity or gravity.

Technology helps us automate the status-quo. And now, Artificial Intelligence, exponentially speeds up that process. TV took 75 years to get to 100 million users, while Netflix reached that milestone in 3 years, ChatGPT in 2 months, and Facebook Threads in 5 days! With this alarming pace of disruption, and a status-quo that has squarely placed us at the doorsteps of multi-crisis, can the levers of technology be used to alter the arc of our core social operating system?

Could AI regenerate Ahimsa? What might emerge if the unfathomable (and often unnerving) artificial intelligence can be married to our heart’s intelligence (that operates with “even more precision than electricity or gravity”)?

Join us for a dialogue on this important topic, educate yourself around AI, and see how ahimsa-led everyday heroes can embrace the “bull by its horn”, raise new questions, and help co-imagine futures where ancient wisdom stays alive.

Among various local leaders, we will jump-start our space with reflections from Nipun Mehta and Rajni Bakshi.

Nipun Mehta is the founder of ServiceSpace, an incubator of projects that works at the intersection of technology, volunteerism and a gift culture. Most recently, ServiceSpace has attracted global attention from industry leaders with its launch of “CompassionGPT” and 80+ subsequent bots with world-renowned thought leaders and organizations (and VinobaBot) -- in an attempt to “leapfrog heart-intelligence to front of innovation train instead of being a trailing add-on.” What is perhaps even more compelling  is that ServiceSpace has delivered value for 25 years, without any paid staff, fundraising or tracking impact; traditional leaders from the founders of major social media networks to heads of state to global influencers have sought out these uncommon design principles.  [More in: Gandhi + ServiceSpace]

Rajni Bakshi, author and activist who, for more than 40 years, has used the power of storytelling to navigate the complex interface of India’s social and spiritual fabric to affect social change. Her 1988 book, Bapu Kuti: Journeys in rediscovery of Gandhi, was the inspiration behind the blockbuster film Swades. Recently, she founded Ahimsa Talks, an online podcast series where she has interviewed over 150 individuals leading with Ahimsa across business, politics, education, etc. A child of India's partition, advocate for transforming market systems, and fearless voyager into uncharted territory, Rajni's visionary conversations reflect her deep search for truth overlaid on the breadth of her knowledge and experiences.. [more

To attend the circle, please RSVP below and you’ll be emailed the details. We will start with a brief meditation, then dive into interactive sharing, and end with a simple dinner with informal conversations. Space is limited, so RSVP is required to join.