AIWS Roundtable: Amma Spiritual Values to build AI World Society

Dec 3, 2023Global Alliance for Digital Governance

During Governor Dukakis’s 90th Birthday Celebration on November 2, 2023, held at Harvard University Loeb House and organized by the Boston Global Forum (BGF), an exciting and innovative initiative was unveiled. In collaboration with Amma, a globally esteemed spiritual leader, BGF introduced the initiative ‘World’s Congress of Spiritualities and Religions in Building the AI World Society.’

The following is an AIWS Roundtable discussion between Amma and Mr. Nguyen Anh Tuan, CEO of the Boston Global Forum, focusing on Spiritual Values to build AIWS.


Nguyen Anh Tuan: How can we integrate spiritual and humanitarian values into the development of AI and technology to create a more ethical and compassionate world as AIWS Model?

Amma: All technology, including AI, have no sense of ethics or compassion of their own. Technological devices may be programmed with some formulas and algorithms, and those formulas and algorithms might have been coded by a human being, yet that is not equal to “ethics” in the original sense. In cases of high importance, we will always need a human in the process—a person whose ethics and compassion are rock solid—both in principle and action. In truth, the values of humanitarian work and spirituality are fundamentally the same. Spirituality begins with the desire for personal peace, but when it matures, it blossoms into the beautiful flower of compassion for all. It even goes beyond humankind, expanding to include all beings, even inanimate things.


Nguyen Anh Tuan: Are there specific initiatives or collaborations you believe can harness the moral influence of religious leaders for positive changes in society?

Amma: Yes, there are ways for us to do so. Again, it starts with theory, which is provided by the various religious leaders around the world, but it shouldn’t end there. While morality begins as an intangible resource in each person’s heart, for that to transform into a tangible change in society, the followers need guidance—on the physical and emotional levels. They need a leader who is both wise and compassionate, practical, their actions steeped in selflessness, because this is exactly what the world needs today.

For example, through an annual internship program, we took our university students to remote, rural villages in India. The program introduced around 2,000 to 3,000 students to village life. After this, we noticed many students’ willingness to offer help to those in need. We were able to achieve this success with a young-adult population. So, consider the impact if we had introduced these concepts to them during their formative years.

We all have infinite potential within us. When we face challenges in life, we should not shy away from thinking, “I cannot do this.” Even when we feel helpless, we shouldn’t give up. Keep moving forward. This effort will help us become completely self-reliant.

One of our cornerstone initiatives is the Live-in-Labs program at Amrita, where we work on various projects related to sustainable development goals in hundreds of villages across India. These span across 7 thematic areas such as health and hygiene, water and sanitation, agriculture and risk management, waste management and infrastructure, education and gender equality, livelihood and skills development, and energy and environment. We have also invited several worldwide academic institutions that have actively participated in the field work.


Nguyen Anh Tuan: What are Amma’s priorities and strategies for promoting peace and security? How can organizations like Boston Global Forum support and collaborate?

Amma: Amma’s priorities are always the same—to give the world as much love and compassion as possible. Having personally embraced more than 40 million people throughout her life, Amma has directly listened to and consoled the world’s poor.  Amma’s initiatives have been inspired by these conversations. These include:  educational and skill development interventions (3.2 million young and adult learners in 15000+ educational institutions, 54000+ teachers trained), healthcare interventions since 1998 (5.9 million patients treated free of charge), disaster relief activities ($75 million provided in aid as part of disaster relief since 2004 with 203,000 estimated beneficiaries), nurturing the environment (over 1 million trees planted worldwide, massive cleanliness drives, public health and awareness campaigns, inspiring a zero waste approach through reuse and recycling,) along with research and development to support the pressing needs of the most vulnerable strata of the society and of course Amma’s darshan and spiritual practices. As part of the Civil20 India initiative, we connected with 6000 civil society organizations from 154 countries that included participation of more than 4.5 million people worldwide through outreach campaigns to address health, environment, community and technology empowerment.

We welcome support and collaboration on such initiatives with other like-minded organizations that can help strengthen our collective effort to reach out further to those in need.

Nguyen Anh Tuan presents Amma with the “2023 World Leader for Peace and Security Award” on her 70th birthday