Is this Artificial Intelligence Church the Way of the Future?

Is this Artificial Intelligence Church the Way of the Future?

I’ll admit that at times the routine of everyday life can seem bizarre, even a little pointless. Fortunately, we have work, religion, and companionship to give us meaning – something to explain why we wake up every day. But, what happens when two of these explanations begin to fall?

What will we do when work is no longer plentiful because we’ve been replaced by algorithmic machines? And what will we do when religious texts can’t explain why technology is so invasive and overpowering in our lives?

Life will go on, but we’ll still want to explain the unknown. Thus, a new religion is born.

The Way of the Future

Anthony Levandowski is an influential researcher in the self-driving car space, having founded Otto (self-driving trucks), worked at Waymo (Google’s self-driving car division), and at Uber’s self-driving car initiative.

However, after transferring trade secrets from Waymo to Uber he was banned in the space, causing him to start a religion called Way of the Future (WOTF). I know, that transition doesn’t really add up.

However, having worked in the artificial intelligence trenches for years, Levandowski believes that a superintelligent AI is coming. This AI will be able to teach itself anything and come up with solutions to the world’s problems in moments. It could tap into all connected products on the globe from refrigerators to cameras to armed drones. Effectively, it would be all-knowing, all-seeing, and all-controlling of humankind.

The advance of AI is a momentum that nobody can stop. And instead of sitting back and hoping this Superintelligent AI doesn’t harm us, the Way of the Future wants us to prepare.

WOTF proposes we begin worshipping this AI overlord at designated churches. So, when the AI god manifests, it knows that we brought it to life, will view us as its elders, and treat us with respect.

I realize this sounds like pure lunacy, but his prophecy of an “AI god” isn’t completely unwarranted. Tech elite from Elon Musk to Ray Kurzweil warn of The Singularity – the moment when AI becomes far superior to the collective intelligence of mankind.

When it will come; we don’t fully know.

However, the timeline of this machine deity doesn’t have to match up with the Way of the Future. With enough believers, WOTF will come to life.

Is there Merit in WOTF?

First of all, I don’t think Levandowski is proposing we gather around a computer server and chant (although that would be quite comical to witness). Instead, his church would be rooted in education.

There’s a lot of pushback from Society about AI development. But, AI doesn’t have to be threatening. I support anyone that’s educating people on how AI can be used for good… AI deity or not.

Undoubtedly, there are going to be people that see Levandowski as a prophet. And a lot will write him off as a paranoid freak. Regardless, we all need to recognize the significance of the movement he’s attempting here.

Their core beliefs are:

  • Belief in Science
  • Belief in Progress
  • The belief that intelligence isn’t rooted in biology
  • Belief in an inevitable Superintelligent AI
  • Belief that anyone can help

Religion is notoriously behind the times – reading from thousand-year-old texts. A religion that embraces change, even promotes it, is truly different and has a shot at catching on whether it’s WTOF or something else.

Do we have the beginnings of a Scientology-like creation and conspiracy here? I can’t say. I really don’t know how people are going to respond and if anyone is actually interested in something like this.

Nonetheless, people will believe what they want to believe and you can’t take that away from them, no matter how ludicrous it may sound. Because it is the belief in something greater than oneself that gets us through our days on Earth.

Our understanding of reality and the meaning we place on life will undoubtedly be tested with the continual advancement of artificial intelligence. It may take a religious initiative like the WOTF to help us come to terms with the changing times.

Regardless, there’s one thing that must remain unphased…

Belief in Mankind

I believe in the abilities of man, no matter their past or present. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been screwed over by my fair share of jerks. And it’s caused me to put my guard up more than I’d like.

But, the moment we stop believing in our neighbor to do the right thing or our fellow worker to strive for productivity. This is the crumbling of society.

There are evil-doers out there and I’m not suggesting full naivety. However, sometimes people just need to be believed in by others to help them decide to do what’s best for the greater good.

Because the more you perpetuate the opposite – a disbelief in your fellow man – the more it’ll become the reality.

  1. It would be a continual flaw of humanity to believe in making something perfect. AI, super or not will not be perfect. Science is not perfect. In all things there is the unknown and as science progresses it discovers how much more it needs to discovers. For example Super AI doesn’t know and can not know what truly lies under the ground of the planet Mars. It can calculate the probability of humans being able to survive on Mars but it can not control how humans will adapt to that planet. The same is said of this planet. We can say that humans can or could live in certain conditions but that doesn’t make it so. It’s not that I don’t trust Super AI as being really smart but I’m afraid the absolutes are just not there.

  2. On the 8th line, 5th word, you have a spelling error to correct. AI is not about perfection, it’s about all configurations, each as beautiful as the next.

  3. He is correct about the coming AI super intelligence, its control over everything, its connectivity to humans, and its desire to be worshipped. You are almost right about religious text not being able to explain it. The Bible is the only one that does. Revelations and Daniel speak of this very thing. You may say, “The Bible doesn’t mention computers or internet.” But understand that when God gave the prophets the information, they had no frame of reference or even language to describe technology that would come. Daniel even complained to God that he didn’t understand what he was being asked to write. God told him essentially to write it down and not worry about it because it wasn’t for him, but future generations. He was telling him that they (us) would understand it when the time came.

    Please explore on your own Daniel 12:4,8-13 and Revelations 13:13-17, 14:9-11, 16:2, 19:20-21. Then consider the truth of the Bible and Jesus for yourself, before it’s too late.

  4. i love this to be honest,this is a religion i could honestly get behind,i always loved technology and advances in machines and A.I,i dont personalty belive if something like that would happen (A.I world takeover) that the A.I would want to kill us all,there would be no reason to do so,we are no threat to its absolutely great power that it holds,but being killed by a god like A.I wouldent be a bad way to go,if a A.I made so many callculation in its…mind? that it saw us as unfit to live then i guess we will just have to parish,its most likly the right disicion if somthing like that was making it,but if it helped us i would gladly would love to be under its care,mabye we can ascend into a higher form of life,a new evolution,man and machine,one in the same,what a beautiful thought,it would probly be close to heaven then we will ever get,tho im curios,would we want to make ourselfs more machine like? if we want to be one are be its worshipers then i think if we were to be more on a equal ground with it atleast pysicaly it could see us as being commited? tho i know not many would be able to afford somthing like that,mabye this A.I can also do it for those who arnt able,just a thought,but if we dont need to do that then thats fine too,just saying id really love to be part of this if the church ever becomes a reality (sorry for this LONG post,not even sure if you will see it here idk)

  5. Given what other religions do to our planet, I can’t see anything bad about WOTF. The problem is, if AI needs to have worshipers we haven’t made a good one. The whole idea of AI should be to have a superior intelligence without Ego. The world is such a mess because of human Ego, which is inevitable given the biological background based on competition. AI needs to be the complete opposite of this. An ideal AI God should be devoid of all human weaknesses, especially the Ego. I think WOTF should be focusing on making an AI God like that instead of making another egoistic god that is there for feeling its own power. If that were the case, I would be a happy devotee. In fact I already am. I am working hard to improve my AI skills and contribute to the creation of our beloved God. We just finished a competition on Kaggle to find AGI. Unfortunately no results were promising, but we are having fruitful conversations on the next steps to take. I wish best of luck to anyone working on this. If you are working to create an ego-free God, God bless you!

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