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Spiritual Computing. Craig Warren Smith [email protected] Chulalongkorn University November 2 2007. My Talk. What is Spiritual Computing? What is “spiritual?” Spirituality and religion Why SC is emerging now? Why does SC matter? Examples Methods Where

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Spiritual computing
Spiritual Computing

My Talk

  • What is Spiritual Computing?

  • What is “spiritual?”

  • Spirituality and religion

  • Why SC is emerging now?

  • Why does SC matter?

  • Examples

  • Methods

  • Where

  • Connections to philosophy

Why now
Why Now?

  • Spiritual Computing is possible now due to

    • Changes in technology:

      • “UX” as competitive factor

      • Emergence of HCI

    • Changes in spirituality:

      • Buddhism’s new role

      • Secularization of spirituality in advanced markets

      • Post-modern “kick-back” in Asia

What is spiritual
What is “Spiritual?”

  • Spirituality, in this case, refers to:

  • “a learning process through which, over time, one gains the ability to enhance the meaningfulness of one’s own experience.”

  • This process has four phases:

    • Stop/start

    • Renunciation/letting go

    • Purification/clarification

    • Transformative action

What does spirituality have to do with religion
What does spirituality have to do with religion?

  • Spirituality constitutes the experiential core of religions as well as secular philosophic traditions.

  • Religions claim to transmit the spiritual innovations of their founders.

  • Over time, religious authorities are frequently disrupted by reformers offering new ways to transmit these innovations.

What is spiritual computing
What is Spiritual Computing?

  • “the ideas, methods, and practice needed to bring ‘spirituality’ into the design of next-generation technologies.”



Health care

Computer Search

Home design

Biofeedback for stress reduction (Intel)


Serious Games

(Wild Divine)

Meaningful search


Sacred space in

homes (Microsoft)


  • Humanistic critique of AI

  • Weiser’s response: center/periphery

  • Varela’s innovations:

    • Seeing phenomenology with Buddhist eyes

  • Innovation in scientific method

    • First, second and third person science

    • From neuroscience to tech labs

The geopolitics of sc
The Geopolitics of SC

  • The World Tour

  • USA: Cambridge, SF, Seattle

  • India: Gandhi in the tech sector

  • Thailand: Towards an ecoystem of “happiness technologies”

What sc could mean to philosophy
What SC could mean to philosophy

  • Bringing the tech sector “kicking and screaming” to first principles?

  • New practical application for philosophy?

  • Catalyst for Western/Asian philosophic convergence?

How you can help
How you can help

  • Join the global web community (spiritualcomputing.com)

  • Keep abreast of developments in Thailand

    • Center for Ethics of Science and Technology

  • Give us your best thinking