Has engineer Anthony Levandowski created a new God?
In a recent development that could be seen as the creation of an AI God, engineer Anthony Levandowski has managed to create a nonprofit religious organization with its god.
This organization, Way of the Future, sets its mission as ‘To develop and Promote the realization of a Godhead based on artificial intelligence and through understanding and worship of the Godhead, contribute to the betterment of society.’ Levandowski has been cited as the group’s “overlord”.
This organization comes at a time when the engineer is facing possible criminal charges. Anthony has been caught in the midst of a legal battle between Uber and Google Waymo who argue that he sold trade secrets to Uber regarding the self-driven car technology. This came after the independent company Otto was bought by Uber in 2016. Levandowski was a co-founder of the company. His skill and interest in self-driven cars point to his firm belief in the Singularity, a supposed time when human intelligence will be overtaken by that of machines.
This move has however been met with criticism from Elon Musk, some religious scholars, and Steve Hawking. They have warned that the introduction of such a system poses a significant threat to the existence of humanity. Elon went ahead to say, “With artificial intelligence, we are summoning the demon. In all those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram and holy water, it’s like – yeah he’s sure he can control the demon. Doesn’t work out.” Elon has gone ahead to set up an organization called OpenAI to stop the progress of the AI god.
Amidst the criticism, Christopher Benek, a Christian pastor from Florida noted the fact that the church doesn’t do a good job at reaching out to people from Silicon Valley. He, however, said that technology could be used to bring God’s purposes to fruition so long as it was programmed with Christian values.
It is still unclear whether this created godhead has its basis from an existing theology or a humanmade idea. However, Way of the future is bound to bring allure and controversy in many circles as AI strives to solve the unanswered religious queries.