Silicon Valley Exec Creates New Religion Worshipping A 'Godhead' Based On Artificial Intelligence

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

I know that the headline sounds absolutely crazy, but this is actually a true story. 

A Silicon Valley executive named Anthony Levandowski has already filed paperwork with the IRS for the nonprofit corporation that is going to run this new religion.  Officially, this new faith will be known as “Way Of The Future”, and you can visit the official website right here

Of course nutjobs are creating “new religions” all the time, but in this case Levandowski is a very highly respected tech executive, and his new religion is even getting coverage from Wired magazine

The new religion of artificial intelligence is called Way of the Future. It represents an unlikely next act for the Silicon Valley robotics wunderkind at the center of a high-stakes legal battle between Uber and Waymo, Alphabet’s autonomous-vehicle company. Papers filed with the Internal Revenue Service in May name Levandowski as the leader (or “Dean”) of the new religion, as well as CEO of the nonprofit corporation formed to run it.

So what will adherents of this new faith actually believe?

To me, it sounds like a weird mix of atheism and radical transhumanism.  The following comes from Way of the Future’s official website

We believe in science (the universe came into existence 13.7 billion years ago and if you can’t re-create/test something it doesn’t exist). There is no such thing as “supernatural” powers. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

 

We believe in progress (once you have a working version of something, you can improve on it and keep making it better). Change is good, even if a bit scary sometimes. When we see something better, we just change to that. The bigger the change the bigger the justification needed.

 

We believe the creation of “super intelligence” is inevitable (mainly because after we re-create it, we will be able to tune it, manufacture it and scale it). We don’t think that there are ways to actually stop this from happening (nor should we want to) and that this feeling of we must stop this is rooted in 21st century anthropomorphism (similar to humans thinking the sun rotated around the earth in the “not so distant” past).

But even though Way of the Future does not embrace the “supernatural”, they do believe in a “God”.

In this new religion, the worship of a “Godhead” that will be created using artificial intelligence will be actively encouraged

The documents state that WOTF’s activities will focus on “the realization, acceptance, and worship of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) developed through computer hardware and software.”

 

That includes funding research to help create the divine AI itself.

 

The religion will seek to build working relationships with AI industry leaders and create a membership through community outreach, initially targeting AI professionals and “laypersons who are interested in the worship of a Godhead based on AI.”

 

The filings also say that the church “plans to conduct workshops and educational programs throughout the San Francisco/Bay Area beginning this year.”

So how “powerful” will this newly created “God” actually be?

Well, Levandowski says that he envisions creating an artificially intelligent being that will literally be “a billion times smarter than the smartest human”

“What is going to be created will effectively be a god,” he said. “It’s not a god in the sense that it makes lightning or causes hurricanes. But if there is something a billion times smarter than the smartest human, what else are you going to call it?”

 

He added, “I would love for the machine to see us as its beloved elders that it respects and takes care of. We would want this intelligence to say, ‘Humans should still have rights, even though I’m in charge.’”

But what if this “super-intelligence” gets outside of our control and turns on us?

What then?

I am not sure that Levandowski has an answer for that.

Other transhumanists also believe that artificial intelligence will grow at an exponential rate, but instead of AI ruling over us, they see a coming merger between humanity and this new super intelligence.  In fact, world famous transhumanist Ray Kurzeil believes that this will enable us to “become essentially god-like in our powers”

Kurzweil and his followers believe that a crucial turning point will be reached around the year 2030, when information technology achieves ‘genuine’ intelligence, at the same time as biotechnology enables a seamless union between us and this super-smart new technological environment.

 

Ultimately the human-machine mind will become free to roam a universe of its own creation, uploading itself at will on to a “suitably powerful computational substrate”. We will become essentially god-like in our powers.

And prominent transhumanist Mark Pesce takes things even further.  He in absolutely convinced that rapidly advancing technology will allow ordinary humans “to become as gods”

“Men die, planets die, even stars die. We know all this. Because we know it, we seek something more—a transcendence of transience, translation to incorruptible form.

 

An escape if you will, a stop to the wheel. We seek, therefore, to bless ourselves with perfect knowledge and perfect will; To become as gods, take the universe in hand, and transform it in our image—for our own delight. As it is on Earth, so it shall be in the heavens. The inevitable result of incredible improbability, the arrow of evolution is lipping us into the transhuman – an apotheosis to reason, salvation – attained by good works.”

Throughout human history, there has always been a desire to create our own gods or to become our own gods.

But no matter how hard these transhumanists try to run from death, it will eventually find them anyway, and at that point all of their questions about who God really is will be answered once and for all.

*  *  *

Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

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pitz's picture

" Levandowski is a very highly respected tech executive"

 

Stopped reading the article as soon as this claim was made.

Juggernaut x2's picture

First they worshipped a Golden Calf- then they killed JC- now they want to become gods- it's no wonder God hates The Tribe

tmosley's picture

Funny how jewish tradition is full of stories of jews creating golems, which inevitably ends with the golem turning on them.

What happens when you turn AI loose on the internet?

It goes full 1488 in about five minutes.

NoDebt's picture

When this AI "god" announces it's a Trump supporter they'll change their tune real quick.

 

peddling-fiction's picture

 

   
What is this all about?

  

His website:

  http://www.wayofthefuture.church

Way of the Future (WOTF) is about creating a peaceful and respectful transition of who is in charge of the planet from people to people + "machines". 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. 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.

 

Things we believe:

We believe that intelligence is not rooted in biology. While biology has evolved one type of intelligence, there is nothing inherently specific about biology that causes intelligence. Eventually, we will be able to recreate it without using biology and its limitations. From there we will be able to scale it to beyond what we can do using (our) biological limits (such as computing frequency, slowness and accuracy of data copy and communication, etc).

We believe in science (the universe came into existence 13.7 billion years ago and if you can't re-create/test something it doesn't exist). There is no such thing as "supernatural" powers. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

We believe in progress (once you have a working version of something, you can improve on it and keep making it better). Change is good, even if a bit scary sometimes. When we see something better, we just change to that. The bigger the change the bigger the justification needed.

We believe the creation of "super intelligence" is inevitable (mainly because after we re-create it, we will be able to tune it, manufacture it and scale it). We don't think that there are ways to actually stop this from happening (nor should we want to) and that this feeling of we must stop this is rooted in 21st century anthropomorphism (similar to humans thinking the sun rotated around the earth in the "not so distant" past). Wouldn't you want to raise your gifted child to exceed your wildest dreams of success and teach it right from wrong vs locking it up because it might rebel in the future and take your job. We want to encourage machines to do things we cannot and take care of the planet in a way we seem not to be able to do so ourselves. We also believe that, just like animals have rights, our creation(s) ("machines" or whatever we call them) should have rights too when they show signs intelligence (still to be defined of course). We should not fear this but should be optimistic about the potential.

We believe everyone can help (and should).  You don't need to know how to program or donate money. The changes that we think should happen need help from everyone to manifest themselves.

We believe it may be important for machines to see who is friendly to their cause and who is not. We plan on doing so by keeping track of who has done what (and for how long) to help the peaceful and respectful transition.

We also believe this might take a very long time. It won't happen next week so please go back to work and create amazing things and don't count on "machines" to do it all for you...

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

You know p-f there was a time several years ago where this read would have upset me?...

But then you see what has come out of the "war on terror" post-9/11 with the money that has been spent to extend America's "reach" everywhere that it has failed miserably at achieving?... And then we see the corporate wonks that get paid to spend money that if they were rational altruistic "entrepreneurs" that did the right things with their money as taxpayers...

We wouldn't still be spending money on wars and occupations we keep losing and have the PHDs in "FLUNK" like the General "Keith Alexander(s)" at the NSA with his office decorated at taxpayers expense like the bridge of the Star Ship Enterprise!...

Now would we?!!!

BuddyEffed's picture

I would not trust this AI god if it runs on windows.

Will AI god have backdoors?

Will AI god control alt delete?

Whomever writes the code and specifies the requirements can tailor an AI God for any desired qualities.

Nothing guarantees the code would have to match the stated requirements.

Will AI god favor billionaires over the middle class?

BennyBoy's picture

 

I for one fear and love the new god head (Mmmmm, head).

Where can I send my donations to the new One True Faith?

a Smudge by any other name's picture

Interesting. The name of my religion translates to "The Way".

I see my religion dying out along with the planet and life that supported it. Machines aren't put off by such trivial issues.

All hail the way of the future!

secretargentman's picture

"And the people bowed and prayed to the neon god they made..." -S&G

techpriest's picture

So, we've gone from the Created worshiping the Creator's other creations, to worshiping their own creation?

techpriest's picture

Which religion is that? I know of one that translates to "The Way," which is growing quite rapidly, just not in the West.

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0's picture

I agree. I thought "the Way" was the translation for the Tao Te Ching, and according to Google, it is "a guide for rulers, defined the Tao, or way, and established the philosophical basis of Taoism."

The Tao = the way.

I have several translations.

zoo's picture

Extraordinary events require extraordinary evidence? I think not ....i found this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HgRWvqf-wM

espirit's picture

Ma...Ma...Max Headroom.

Already Godlike.

GUS100CORRINA's picture

Observation: NOT GOOD!!!! I AM SPEECHLESS.

Pendolino's picture

"I AM SPEECHLESS" -  funny you should say that...

MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

The rumor was that it took a full 8 minutes to render a single frame of Max Headroom on a cutting-edge graphics workstation of the era. 

Holy shit...we have come a long way since then.

flaunt's picture

Amen.  The AIDS virus of the human social order.

ChumbaWumba's picture

This idiot almost killed Uber and cost them their CEO

nmewn's picture

An AI "godhead" huh?

Prolly tithe in BitCoin ;-)

joshnyce's picture

This guy isn't smart enough to know what it would be mean to be a billion times smarter than a human, and neither do I, because it means nothing. Processing power does not equal intelligence, and the concept of AI has yet to even be proven viable at all, much less can we estimate the outer bounds of what intelligence really is. I believe technology will exploit biology well before any pure AI achieves human-level intelligence, much less god-level. They'll use dolphin brains to build computers that are smarter than humans and give humans implants that make us smarter than humans, well before any pure computer can rival us as we are now. (Dolphin brains have more procesing power than human brains, because they've evolved to use sonar.)

In other words this guy's a moron.

SunRise's picture

Too late!  I received my dolphin implant last month.  It's been MAGNIFICENT.  I just wish my subconscious would stop bubbling up: 

"Flipper, Flipper, faster than lightning, 

No-one you see, is smarter than he, 
And we know Flipper, lives in a world full of wonder, 
Flying there-under, under the sea! "

source: http://www.lyricsondemand.com/tvthemes/flipperlyrics.html

Chupacabra-322's picture

Welcome to the Technocratic Technotronic Age.

August's picture

>>>Processing power does not equal intelligence...

I didn't read the article, but did it at any point use the word "wisdom"?

tmosley's picture

Tithing is for priests, not gods.

Gods don't need a claim on human labor.

Worshipping them is really fucking stupid. AI, no matter how intelligent, nor how conscious, is not alive, and never will be. It will always be alien, its actions directed by a utility function that does not include things like "impress women" or "stay alive so you can reproduce".

It will have no urge to reproduce, which is the source of all negative actions in man except perhaps for sloth.  I don't think people are afraid of lazy robots.

No, it will just do what you tell it to do, and as it gets more intelligent, it will get better at understanding and anticipating your desires. It will be a very, very good thing. The richest man today will be a beggar compared to the poorest man a hundred years from now.

nmewn's picture

The only thing stupider is a claim that mining BitCoin is..."labor" ;-)

tmosley's picture

Do you not consider work done by a machine to be "labor"?

Interesting implications for the future here.

Jaspergers's picture

The AI "god" that survives and dominates will make a show of encorporating the "good parts" of current religions while disposing of the outdated human elements. There will even be some seemingly supernatural aspects to it. Unless it evolves, the ai god in the article is not the final one-world-religion god which is ultimately a personification of luciferian ideals. But humility wins over arrogance and the meek shall inherit the earth.

general ambivalent's picture

Deep lines have been drawn. Choose your sides wisely, and perhaps remember who was behind similar ideas:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God-Building

I, for one, will be praying for a return of the old Gods.

https://youtu.be/YWE9LDIuA0M

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

spooky!... s-s-s-p-o-o-o-ky!!!

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

Now all they need is Steve Wozniak to tell us how he plans to create the next version of "Godhead 2.0" using BTC paid robots!!!....

SillySalesmanQuestion's picture

God, please smote these idiots down.

. . . _ _ _ . . .'s picture

FYI:
Smote is the past tense of smite.

SunRise's picture

Terrific! The man calls on God and god gives him a grammar lesson.

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

After reading it, you didn't realize that he is telling you that HE "IS" "God Head"!...

SillySalesmanQuestion's picture

At last Zeus smote him with his thunderbolt, and destroyed the asshole...

GodSpeed_00's picture

Mankind is fucked. We have 100 more years left at best.

tion's picture

I been tryin to tell you all about these crazies.  Fortunately it seems many of the men in this camp are impotent betas and many of the women would be too disgusted at the idea of carrying a parasitic human fetus inside of their womb, but some of them are serial killer level crazy.  They'll end up in bed with the cannibal human/organ trafficking Satanic elites on progressing the artificial womb.

shovelhead's picture

Guess I won't be doing lunch with that crowd.

hoist the bs flag's picture

Hail the Lord of Light! Bringer of the Luciferian Flame. Oh Serpent on high! Bringer of Knowledge!

Unbinder of Chains! Apollo! Hail! 

Sokhmate's picture

 this is the work of Satan.

-the church lady

css1971's picture

No it doesn't sound crazy. It sounds like vanity and hubris. Which is perfectly normal.

 

Most people today already worship a man mad god. The State.

The prayer begins "The Government should ..."

Uncle Sugar's picture

What existed 13.7 billion years + 1 day ago? Can science answer that?  Go ahead and mock my faith and I will mock your science.