Anthony Levandowski, the former Google and Uber executive has filed paperwork with the IRS to officially register a religion centered around super-smart artificial intelligence (AI).
According to IRS documents, the new church of AI will aim “to develop and promote the realization of a Godhead based on artificial intelligence and through understanding and worship of the Godhead to contribute to the betterment of society.” Levandowski would be the leader – in this case, “dean” – of the religion.
The robot god will head a non-profit religious organization called “Way Of The Future” (WOTF). According to the website (wayofthefuture.church), the movement is “about creating a peaceful and respectful transition of who is in charge of the planet from people to people and machines.”
The basis of this new religion is that Levandowski’s believes that AI will one day grow to such efficiency that it surpasses and overpower humans.
The site explains:
Given that technology will “relatively soon” be able to surpass human abilities, we want to help educate people about this exciting future and prepare a smooth transition. Help us spread the word that progress shouldn’t be feared (or even worse locked up/caged).
That we should think about how “machines” will integrate into society (and even have a path for becoming in charge as they become smarter and smarter) so that this whole process can be amicable and not confrontational.
The site also revealed:
In “recent” years, we have expanded our concept of rights to both sexes, minority groups and even animals, let’s make sure we find a way for “machines” to get rights too.
Let’s stop pretending we can hold back the development of intelligence when there are clear massive short term economic benefits to those who develop it and instead understand the future and have it treat us like a beloved elder who created it.
During three-hour interview with Wired, Levandowski made it absolutely clear that his choice to make WOTF a church rather than a company or a think tank was no prank.
I wanted a way for everybody to participate in this, to be able to shape it. If you’re not a software engineer, you can still help.
It also removes the ability for people to say, ‘Oh, he’s just doing this to make money.
Levandowski will receive no salary from WOTF, and while he says that he might consider an AI-based startup in the future, any such business would remain completely separate from the church.
The idea needs to spread before the technology, The church is how we spread the word, the gospel. If you believe [in it], start a conversation with someone else and help them understand the same things.
If you ask people whether a computer can be smarter than a human, 99.9 percent will say that’s science fiction. Actually, it’s inevitable. It’s guaranteed to happen.
Levandowski believes that a change is coming—a change that will transform every aspect of human existence, disrupting employment, leisure, religion, the economy, and possibly decide our very survival as a species.
There are many ways people think of God, and thousands of flavors of Christianity, Judaism, Islam
But they’re always looking at something that’s not measurable or you can’t really see or control. This time it’s different. This time you will be able to talk to God, literally, and know that it’s listening.
Currently, Levandowski is at the center of a legal battle between Uber and Google’s Waymo. Levandowski who was the co-founder of the autonomous trucking company, Otto, which was bought by Uber for $680 million in 2016. His former employer, Google, alleges that he helped Uber steal trade secrets about self-driving car technology.