06 Nov

Worshipping Artificial Intelligence 
Worshipping Artificial Intelligence

Worshipping Artificial Intelligence

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In 2015, a former Google and Uber engineer filed documents with the state of California to begin Way of the Future, a nonprofit religious group focused on worshipping artificial intelligence (AI).

Based on paperwork obtained by Backchannel, the group's stated mission is "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."

Anthony Levandowski is the person identified as the CEO and president of Way of the Future.

LiveScience reports that Candi Cann, an author and religious studies scholar who teaches comparative religion at Baylor University, believes that Levandowski's faith-based program isn't really all that strange when viewed with a perspective for history.

"It strikes me that Levandowski's idea reads like a quintessential American religion," Cann said to Seeker. "LDS [The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] and Scientology are both distinctly American traditions that focus on very forward thinking religious viewpoints. LDS discusses other planets and extra-terrestrial life. Scientology has an emphasis on therapy and a psychological worldview, which is quite modern and forward thinking."

She went on to observe that, when looked at from a comparative religion viewpoint, Levandowski's church most resembles Hinduism, "in which there are avatars of deities found on Earth. In this way, I think AI can reflect the best of humans back to us, which are, in turn, worshiped," she said.

Backchannel quotes an unidentified former friend and colleague of Levandowski's as suggesting that he harbored a bizarre concept that robots would eventually conquer the world in a militaristic manner. And that's it's possible Levandowski might wish to create a deity that he could himself best control.

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Read 2356 times Last modified on Thursday, 02 November 2017 05:47
Jim Lillie

Jim began writing for newspapers and designing for publishing companies at a time when both industries were just beginning to make the switch from manual to digital platforms. Jim lives in Boulder, Colorado with his teenage son.

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