Anthony Levandowski is a former Google and Uber engineer who has developed a robot that will be prayed to for the “betterment of society”. Levandowski was the man behind Google’s self-driving car and now he has established a religious nonprofit corporation solely devoted to the worship of artificial intelligence.
Levandowski is the CEO and president of religious organisation Way of the Future, the mission is “to develop and promote the realisation of a Godhead based on artificial intelligence and through understanding and worship of the Godhead contribute to the betterment of society”. Not much more is known about the specifics of the Godhead but the emergence of the documents demonstrates how the rapid advancement of AI and bioengineering is forcing discussions around how humans and robots will coexist on Earth.
“The recent coverage of AI as a single, unified power is a predictable upshot of a self-aggrandising Silicon Valley culture that believes it can summon a Godhead,” says Thomas Arnold, a Research Associate at Tufts University’s Human-Robot Interaction Laboratory. “The ideas of mourning, loss, tragedy, social justice, and larger responsibilities to a neighbour — which the world religious tradition have gradually developed resources to accommodate, reflect upon, and offer rich re-framings thereof — are largely dispensed with in the AI as religion evocations,” he says. God only knows if anyone will worship an AI that’s so sterile.
“An AI would provide the equivalent of a ‘Messiah’ — having many orders of magnitude more processing elements than the brain, enabling it to gift us with solutions to the most daunting social, political, economic, and environmental challenges,” says Dr. Stephen Thaler, the President and CEO of Imagination Engines who is an AI and consciousness expert.
Do you think this is a match made in Heaven? Would you worship at the altar of a robot?
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