Theologians often call religion a tool for binding societies to a set of norms and interpretations. One can also say it’s about relationships – one with God, with each other, and with the whole creation. So, what about our relationship with machines? If you think about it, computers already rule most of our world, and this has lead to the creation of a ‘second narrative’. The one where computers dictate our relationship with reason and logic, with each other, and with the whole creation. It should be no surprise that many people in Silicon Valley believe the Singularity is coming. In the near future, computers will surpass human intelligence and change the course of the future. To usher in this day in the future, an ex-Google engineer is out to create a god-based religion where people will worship AI God.
Anthony Levandowski, the multimillionaire engineer, who once headed Alphabet Waymo’s self-driving car program, has established a nonprofit religious corporation called Way of the Future.
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Way of the Future has a startling mission: “To develop and promote the realization of a Godhead based on artificial intelligence and through understanding and worship of the Godhead contribute to the betterment of society.”
Levandowski created Way of the Future in 2015, but it was unreported until this week when it was uncovered by Wired’s Backchannel. Its previously unreported state filings reveal Levandowski as its CEO and president. It is unclear how many members it has, or whether coders, engineers, and developers meet and talk about the aspects of “singularity.”
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Anthony Levandowski played a crucial role at Google in developing the autonomous cars. The former Google engineer was paid generously by the self-driving division at Google that is now Alphabet’s Waymo. Google accused Levandowski of stealing 14,000-plus documents containing valuable intellectual property. The former-Google engineer was accused of bringing the documents to his own autonomous trucking company Otto. The startup was later acquired by Uber in 2016 for a reported $680 million.
Way of the Future is likely to make Tesla CEO Elon Musk skip a heartbeat. The billionaire genius behind SpaceX and Neuralink has, time and again, stirred up fear over the threat of killer AI. “With artificial intelligence, we are summoning the demon,” Musk said at a conference in 2014. “In all those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram and the holy water, it’s like yeah, he’s sure he can control the demon. Doesn’t work out.”
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What will humans do once artificial intelligence achieves singularity? How will mankind be affected by the artificial-intelligence’s newly found ability? Levandowski may have the answer to these questions, but one thing is clear. Way of the Future is his way of making sure he has secured his position the day computers wage war against humans.
What do you think of the new religion? Are you going to worship an AI bot-god created by Way of the Future.