P24. Digital Humanities and Technology

Session: Session 4, 8:30 – 10:00 am, Saturday 9/30

Category: Individual Papers

Location: Innovation

Chair: Rhonda Huo (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)

Paper Presenters: Genevieve Dwyer, Erica Holt, Jinsub Song

A Link Between Life and Death: How Fengshui Influenced Burials in Imperial China

Speaker: Genevieve Dwyer
Role: Paper Presenter
Institution/Affiliation: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Abstract: While geomancy (or fengshui) is known to be significant in shaping the interaction of people in imperial China with their environment and burial practices, its practical application is less understood. This paper delves into how people incorporated fengshui into their daily lives by analyzing a vast dataset of maps of ancestral gravesites using digital tools such as pattern recognition programs. Through these analyses, this paper reveals how burial sites are related to other terrain features, providing insight into how people living in imperial China interacted with their environment. While fengshui is typically associated with living a harmonious life, this research shows how it also served as a connection between the living and the dead.

The Application of the Buddhist Precept of Non-Killing in the Generative AI Modeling

Speaker: Jinsub Song
Role: Paper Presenter
Institution/Affiliation: UIUC
Abstract: This study aims to explore the applicability of the non-killing precept of Sīla (戒), a fundamental aspect in East Asian Buddhism, to the ethical concerns surrounding generative AI models. The rapid commercialization and integration of AI into human life have necessitated the establishment of moral guidelines for AI systems. Given the considerable impact of Sīla on guiding practitioners’ actions within Buddhist communities, the ethical perspectives of Buddhism can positively contribute to the development of ethical norms for AI. The research methodology includes an in-depth philosophical analysis of the non-killing precept based on Buddhist scriptures, a review of the current state of AI development, and an investigation of the potential relevance and application of this precept to AI. We acknowledge the challenges of establishing a clear definition of the non-killing precept and the scope of sentient beings, which are necessary for effective language modeling for AI. This research serves as a foundation for cultivating discourse on the application of Buddhist norms to AI modeling. By collecting doctrinal and practical illustrations related to non-killing and exploring possible alternative interpretations, this study aims to advance research on AI modeling of other Buddhist moral norms and contribute to the ongoing discourse on AI ethics.