Kyoto University Builds “Teraverse,” a Buddha-based Metaverse Featuring AI

by
Metaverse Editors' Choice
Kyoto University Builds “Teraverse,” a Buddha-based Metaverse Featuring AI

The mainstreaming of the metaverse has been rapid, with different institutions making inroads into the virtual landscape. Kyoto University’s Institute for the Future of Society is building a virtual ecosystem called the Teraverse.

Kyoto University Takes Buddhism to the Metaverse

According to reports, Kyoto University, in partnership with Teraverse Inc., is building a unique virtual experience centered on Buddhism. The new virtual space, “Teraverse,” is developed purposefully to integrate Buddhism into the digital arena.

For emphasis, “tera” in Japanese denotes a Buddhist temple, and as a result, a virtual space will host branches of the temple. According to the developers, this will eliminate the physical world’s limitations like time and space. 

The Teraverse has great temples of different shapes and sizes with lasers they can utilize and create for their faces.

Furthermore, the Traverse is also a space for digital information in the form of Buddhabot, a Tera Platform AR.

The Buddhabot is an artificial reality-powered (AR) system with Buddhist scriptures. Users seeking advice can consult Buddhabot, which will answer their questions based on the actual teachings of Buddha. 

According to Professor Seiji Kumagai of Kyoto University, the real world is a pressure cooker for people. The COVID-19 pandemic and the current war between Russia and Ukraine have made many seek solace in religion. 

As a result, the Buddhist Teraverse and the Tera Platform AR version 1.0 are new methods to connect traditional knowledge and science into a single system. However, the Teraverse and Tera Platform AR are prototypes still undergoing development.

Professor Kumagai added that society is diversifying like never before, and this project aims to soothe troubled minds. In addition, the initiative will provide hope, enjoyment, and healing to people as they navigate the turbulence ahead.

Religion in the Metaverse

As tech brands continue to invest in the metaverse, faith groups are becoming part of the grand design to accommodate all segments of human activities. Human interaction at all social gatherings is integrated into the virtual space.

Since faith-based organizations have, for years, leveraging the virtual ecosystem to gather people, think Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and others. The argument now is that the metaverse can also be another environment for the religious faithful to venture into. 

Meta is at the forefront of the drive to integrate religion into the virtual world. This reflects a more significant trend of institutions moving to the metaverse to achieve expanded growth.

Some people, however, argued that the motive behind tech firms accommodating religious organizations in the metaverse might be profit-driven. 

This underscores why Meta wants churches, mosques, and synagogues to host their religious activities on its platform.

There are currently a handful of religious communities utilizing the metaverse for their gatherings. Moreover, the push to have an online presence peaked during the COVID-19-imposed lock-downs, especially for churches. However, virtual churches can in no way replace the in-person congregation any time soon.

Despite the positives, many religious organizations are skeptical about the opportunities of hosting their worship in the virtual ecosystem.

Ifeanyi Egede

Ifeanyi Egede is an experienced and versatile writer and researcher. He has keen interest in blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies, NFTs, Web3, metaverse, fintech and emerging technologies. He has tons of published works both online and in the print media. He has close to a decade of writing experience. When he is not writing, he spends time with his lovely wife and kids.