Google Alumnus Starts Religion Based On AI
If ancient religions didn’t have enough to argue about, make way for the God of AI. A well-known engineer named Anthony Levandowski has founded a new AI-based religion called Way of the Future. The charter: worship and understand “the Godhead” for the betterment of society. That sounds pretty sterile and out of touch with the compassionate side of the world’s religions up to this point. Thomas Arnold, a research associate at Tufts University,thinks it is just Silicon Valley being too big for its britches in some ways. Arnold says,“The recent coverage of AI as a single, unified power is a predictable upshot of a self-aggrandizing Silicon Valley culture that believes it can summon a Godhead,”
So not everyone is sold on the idea, and that includes Elon Musk, who says AI could be more dangerous than North Korean nukes if we aren’t careful with its development.
Ironically, Levandowski, the former Google/Uber engineer, is not the first or only person to consider making our next Savior a computer-based deity. Seminary grad and lawyer John Mitchell says humans have a tendency to “worship supreme understanding,” which applies to AI. “We [believe] there must be some higher power that causes lightning, sunsets, and crashing waves—or at least speaks to the bottom of our beings, rather than ignore them as ho-hum background,” he said, suggesting the same thing could happen with AI or that AI could help us understand religion better.
So whatever your current religious persuasion, do you think your home office in the Vatican or Saudi Arabia or Texas, will be willing to accept a new God-on-the-Block?
Probably not. A really good AI god should look at it this way, perhaps:
Of course, a super-intelligent AI would likely not want to be worshipped, preferring to merely guide humanity in ways that we perceive as being (mostly) helpful.