Former Google Engineer Creating ‘Way of the Future Church’ to ‘Worship’ Artificial Intelligence

Photo Credit: John Sommers I/Transport Topics/Wikipedia

(Wired) — Anthony Levandowski makes an unlikely prophet. Dressed Silicon Valley-casual in jeans and flanked by a PR rep rather than cloaked acolytes, the engineer known for self-driving cars—and triggering a notorious lawsuit—could be unveiling his latest startup instead of laying the foundations for a new religion. But he is doing just that. Artificial intelligence has already inspired billion-dollar companies, far-reaching research programs, and scenarios of both transcendence and doom. Now Levandowski is creating its first church.

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.

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.”

“What is going to be created will effectively be a god,” Levandowski tells me in his modest mid-century home on the outskirts of Berkeley, California. “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?”

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  • Amos Moses – He>i

    most non-believers do that anyway ………….. they have no real knowledge ….. just Artificial Intelligence ….. they lie to themselves about how superior they are …….. and how smart they are …… so i guess they may as well ………. they reject true knowledge anyway ………… and many of them look forward to “merging with the machine” in some kind of perverted techno-rapture that will give them a pseudo-eternal life …… and i have to think that they think that somehow the DELETE key will just go away ……. infantile, futile thinking ……….

    • Paladin Roy

      Amen Bro. Amos

      This thing is exactly as they call it. … A “religion”. … So now we see, man wants to create God, but that is an impossibility he doesn’t want to face.

    • GalapagosPete

      Most non-believers worship AI? Do you have some research backing up that claim, because it seems pretty unlikely to me.

      • Amos Moses – He>i

        most non-believers worship themselves …. their belly is their god ….. but they do not want to die …. they want to live forever ….. as all men do ….. and they think they can do it by AI ….. or they would not be spending BILLIONS on the technology to do it ………

        evidence enough for you ………….

        • GalapagosPete

          They do? How do you know? And how do you define “worship” in this context? Is it the same sort of worship as the way you worship your deity? Is there prayer involved? What makes you think all men want to live forever – do you have data to support that claim?

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            worship is what permeates your daily thoughts …………

          • GalapagosPete

            Meaningless twaddle.

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            do not be so hard on yourself …… i thought you made a good comment and question …….

          • GalapagosPete

            Funny. But had you had an intelligent response to my question it would have been better because we could have a dialogue. That seems unlikely now, though.

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            especially when your comments get deleted …… kind of makes it hard for others to follow …… worship is not restrictive …. and i find it interesting that many are all for “expanding” certain definitions ….. but when it comes to things they disagree with ….. all of a sudden the definitions get restricted ….. see …. things like what “sex” is …. is given the WIDEST definition ….. and includes every perversion ….. but “worship” …. well we cant have that having a wide definition ……. better drop it down to the MICRO ….. you know … so no one can see it …..

          • GalapagosPete

            My comments are apparently being deleted by a moderator who finds them to be “profanity, vulgarity, violence, blasphemy, all caps or any discourteous behavior.”

            Your definition of worship includes golf players and football fans, so it is in no way useful. But even if we accept your definition, what makes you think that atheists worship themselves according to that definition? What research have you done to come to that conclusion? What atheists have to spoken with to find out why they don’t believe?

          • GalapagosPete

            I presume that my comments are being deleted by a moderator; I am not doing it, and it sounds as if you are not flagging them so either they review all comments or someone else is flagging them for some reason.

            Your definition of worship includes golf players and football fans, so
            it is in no way useful. But even if we accept your definition, what
            makes you think that atheists worship themselves according to that
            definition? What research have you done to come to that conclusion? What
            atheists have to spoken with to find out why they don’t believe?

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            it includes shopping, television, eating, drinking, smoking and pretty much any thought that is used to replace God …… or to avoid thinking about God ….. but it all pretty much boils down to ….. “i am more important than what anyone else wants” ……. and is the basis for every and all sin ………..

          • GalapagosPete

            Right, but you assume without evidence that this means that people are either consciously or unconsciously trying to “replace” or “avoid thinking about God.” There is no reason to believe this. Nor does your claim that these people feel they are “more important than what anyone else wants,” make any sense: what do other people’s *wants* have to do with my beliefs?

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            nope … first … not an assumption …… second ….. they do not “try” to “replace” or “avoid” either of those things any more than they try to “replace” or “avoid” breathing ….. they DO replace them with those other things and it is as natural for them to do so as breathing ………..

          • GalapagosPete

            Okay, please explain how you know this.

    • ppp777

      ” All is vanity “

  • mr goody two shoes

    Just unplug the thing it or don’t recharge it.same difference.

  • MCrow

    Eh. Roko’s Basilisk rears its ugly head again…

    Worshiping a distant possibility that has no evidence for fear of possible punishment isn’t logical

  • Lydia Church

    “Because of the signs it was given to perform on behalf of the first beast, it deceived those who dwell on the earth, telling them to make an image to the beast that had been wounded by the sword and yet had lived. The second beast was permitted to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image would also speak and cause all who refused to worship it to be killed. And the second beast required all people small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark — the name of the beast or the number of its name.” Revelation 13; 14-17

    It’s coming.
    “But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed signs on his behalf, by which he deceived those who had the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. Both of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. And the rest were killed with the sword that proceeded from the mouth of the One seated on the horse. ” Rev. 19; 20-21

    “And a third angel followed them, calling in loud a voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image, and receives its mark on his forehead or hand, he too will drink the wine of God’s anger, poured undiluted into the cup of His wrath. And he will be tormented in fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment will rise forever and ever. Day and night there will be no rest for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.” Rev. 14; 9-11

    So don’t worship anyone but God, and don’t take the mark of the beast, no matter what. If you do you will be in the lake of fire. No mater what anyone else tells you, including John MacArthur!

  • Croquet_Player

    Well, this is pretty ridiculous. But hey, if people like Joel Osteen can do it, so can he. And that’s where tax free religious exemptions come into play. If they all want to operate as “non-profits”, which are subject to far more scrutiny, that’s a different matter entirely.

  • Ryan Morgan

    So the majority of scientists, professors, athiests and people who never knew a world not connected to the internet can finally latch onto and worship a “God”. I’m no follower or fan of organized religions but I do understand there to be a Creator, as evidenced by everything in the natural universe following universal laws or Natural Law. Unfortunately, this new AI “God” has been around forever and was formerly known as SATAN by many, but even to those who do not believe in anything spiritual… this plan to create and then be subjective to “Godhead” is so obviously in direct opposition to Natural Law that the only eventual outcome will be negative. Go against Natural Law and the Universe will eventually correct the problem or the Universe itself will be destroyed.