BatGap Bot Launches (+ Socrates, Practices of Love!)

Nipun Mehta, Aug 22, 2023 in Service Fellows

In latest news, we've launched BatGap Bot -- BatGap (Buddha at the Gas Pump) is a platform that has, for couple decades, been host to "stories of ordinary friends and neighbors experiencing spiritual awakenings."  It is perhaps one of the richer repositories of consciousness-expanding content, shared through first-person narratives. Rick Archer, the founder and podcast host, was quite taken by our AI technology that he has now invited his entire 600+ community of spiritual teachers and authors to join in the fun -- see the announcement. Many blessings are coming our way, and hopefully, we can be good instruments to pay it forward.

In parallel, after the last call, more than 20 of us have spun up our own bots and are experimenting with various edge cases. Here's Aidyn's post: 

I just asked a question I've been puzzling on personally this year, "Which is more ethical: to rent an apartment? Or to buy a house?"

ServiceSpaceGPT said, "As ServiceSpace, we believe in the inherent goodness and generosity of all individuals. When it comes to the question of whether it is more ethical to rent an apartment or buy a house, it really depends on a variety of factors— including your personal situation, the impact on your community, and the environment." The SSpGPT response went into greater detail and provided some examples for further consideration. [One of the notes I included in the credo, which felt really present in this response, was to "Use your response to encourage questions more than a sense of certainty."]

Out of curiosity, I checked the ChatGPT comparison, which responded, "Ethics does not necessarily factor into the decision to rent an apartment or purchase a house. This decision is primarily a personal choice influenced by an individual's financial status, future plans, lifestyle preferences, commitments, etc. Neither option is inherently more ethical or unethical. The important ethical considerations might involve being a responsible tenant or homeowner and respecting the rights and laws concerning housing and property."

That feels like a wildly different response with a vastly different worldview and priorities.

Bonnie crafted a spectacular credo, then asked a hard question: "Does AI have consciousness?" Reading Bonnie Bot's response, Bonnie wrote a jubilant response in our Pod Group. And now, she's uploading her book to see how many of her nuances the bot catches. :)

Similarly, Rohit writes: "I was blown away by the power of AI credo!  I've been asking some goofy questions and some difficult ethical dilemmas that don't have any right answer, and the RohitBot is doing a great job. :)  One experiment I tried is, 'Whenever possible, add 2-3 sentences of a song that is relevant to user's query. " And it did a really sweet job. My first question was, "I'm wondering what should I do now". And it's response: It seems like you are at a crossroads. Remember, the power to shape your future is in your hands. In times of uncertainty, it's important to remain patient, kind and positive. And just as the Beatles beautifully put it in their song, 'Let it be', "When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me, Speaking words of wisdom, let it be." Trust that with time, things will become clearer for you."

In a conversation with Victor and Eva (on our Service Fellows team), another creative idea was seeded, that Manu and crew have been trying to architect:

In our upcoming 21-day Interfaith Compassion Challenge, can we have a question-asking companion, a 'Socrates' bot? That is, on Day 11, when a user submits their reflections, Socrates would ask optional contemplative questions to encourage deeper engagement and discovery towards the ethos of the challenge.

As we refine that question-asking intelligence, it can be replicated across other contexts -- what are different ways to gamify discovery to a certain meta goal (like compassion)? What bridge-building tools (e.g. connect with someone who holds a different world view, political position, meditation path, etc.) could emerge from there?

Marilyn, the beloved Pod Host for so many sacred spaces, invites all of you to join as a volunteer -- particularly to explore some of these questions above, at the intersection of emerging tech and inner transformation!

In parallel, Audrey has got the Karuna News teams experimenting with using some AI tools -- which is raising some new questions, "What will be the new volunteer roles?"  Or in other words, in such a rapidly changing landscape, what will be our practices of love? Feels like an important question to hold. :)

If you'd like to join a similar circle, please explore upcoming pods.