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Chinese Buddhist monastery attracts top talents

(People's Daily Online)    13:36, April 12, 2016
Chinese Buddhist monastery attracts top talents
Longquan Temple.

Longquan Temple in Beijing recently gained a significant following after a chubby robot named Xian'er, which was developed by the temple, went viral. Beyond Xian’er, the temple itself is a top-level research institute with cutting-edge technology and talents from renowned universities.

Standing about 60 centimeters high and clad in a yellow robe, the robot was developed by the temple in cooperation with artificial intelligence experts, and is able to sense its surroundings and engage in basic discussions about Buddhism. The monastery also has its own IT and animation teams, both composed of monks who graduated from top universities like Tsinghua University and Beihang University.

For instance, Master Xianxin, who majored in computer science and graduated from the Beijing University of Technology, is the head of the IT team. He manages digital technology for the temple, as well as the information platform that he built with the help of volunteers.

Liu Zhiyu, a math whiz and recent graduate from Beijing University, gave up a full scholarship offered by the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the U.S. in order to become a monk at Longquan Temple.

One rumor even says that it was a monk from the temple who advised Zhang Xiaolong, creator of China’s WeChat messaging service, when Zhang met some roadblocks during the research and development phase.

In addition to the monks, there are also more than 300 volunteers living in the monastery, some of who also graduated from top universities and won prestigious math honors.

To become a monk in the temple, one has to start as a volunteer, serving in position suited to one’s specific skills. However, only the morally qualified volunteers are ultimately selected as monks.

Besides IT and animation, the temple also has a highly qualified translation team for eight foreign languages. The temple’s blog is updated in all eight languages, including English, Japanese and Russian. 


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(Editor:Hongyu,Wu Chengliang)

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