Anthony Levandowski, identified for his work growing self-driving auto know-how, has began the world’s
first synthetic intelligence-based faith, in response to Wired, which on Wednesday revealed an article primarily based on a prolonged interview with the would-be prophet.

Levandowski, who has been on the middle of a authorized dispute between Google’s Waymo
self-driving unit and Uber, has solid himself because the frontman for the Manner of the Future church.

The mission of this “technotheistic” motion is spelled out as “the conclusion, acceptance, and worship of a Godhead primarily based on Synthetic Intelligence developed by pc and and software program,” in paperwork filed with the IRS, Wired reported. The church is listed as a nonprofit with Levandowski as “Dean.”

Embracing the Singularity

The Manner of the Future, based in 2015, doesn’t worship any religious god(s) that may solid lightning or smite evildoers. Levandowski’s premise seems to be that AI ultimately will likely be billions of occasions smarter than the neatest human and thus may have “god-like” powers.

The brand new faith would not prophesy a coming messiah, the tip of days, or some other divine future taking place. As a substitute, Levandowski’s focus is on “the singularity” or “transition” that lies forward — that’s, the second when AI surpasses human intelligence.

Present outstanding tech thinkers — from Invoice Gates to Stephen Hawking to Elon Musk — have warned that AI superiority may unleash machines on humanity in a way much like the darkish fantasies depicted in science fiction motion pictures akin to The Terminator or The Matrix — and that people ought to put together to cope with the chance.

Nonetheless, as an alternative of fearing the rise of the machines, the Manner of the Future embraces it as inevitable. People could should serve a brand new AI grasp and as folks have submitted to god(s) for eons, the argument appears to go.

Is It a Actual Faith?

Historical past is filled with prophets and false prophets, and new religions truly are
nothing all that new. The New Spiritual Motion (NRM), or
various spirituality, has confronted a hostile reception with established
spiritual teams and teams related to it oftentimes have been labeled “cults.”

It is questionable whether or not the Manner of the Future, which can or could not have any followers, may be thought-about an precise faith or if it higher suits the definition of a cult.

“‘Faith’ is the engagement of final realities in cognitive,
existential, and social apply methods,” stated Robert Cummings
Neville, a professor of philosophy, faith and theology at Boston
University
.

“There’s nothing in precept that might stop the involvement of
synthetic intelligence on this,” he instructed TechNewsWorld.

“The invention of writing and of
printing revolutionized religions up to now, and certainly computer systems
are in broad use amongst spiritual folks of many kinds,” Neville stated, “however I do not know whether or not this Manner of the Future means to worship progressive AI, use AIs to mannequin final realities akin to God, the
Dao, and so on., or to make use of AI to arrange spiritual practices.”

The Tech Godhead

A faith primarily based on know-how is probably not so farfetched both —
authors akin to H.P. Lovecraft and Arthur C. Clarke recommended that to
primitive societies, know-how would resemble magic, and thus could possibly be
confused with faith.

One fascinating challenge is whether or not the machine intelligence would regard itself as a god.

“If we create an excellent clever pc, they might nonetheless should
emulate properties that give solution to transcendence,” stated Brian C.
Wilson, professor of American spiritual historical past at
West Michigan University.

“With AI, a part of it will be that it has one thing transcendental, as
that’s the key to the brand new faith motion,” he instructed TechNewsWorld. “But in addition, what sort of
knowledge does it supply?”

At current, the Manner of the Future has simply its Dean, however “new
religions have began with much less,” famous Wilson.

One wants solely to look to the carpenter turned preacher, the Bedouin
service provider turned prophet, the Upstate New York farmer or science
fiction fantasy author — all of whom had been ridiculed for his or her
respective faiths.

“The chief sometimes must have a sure ‘X’ issue and charisma,
however the actual check is what occurs when that charismatic chief dies,”
stated Wilson.

The New New Age

New Age religions have gained traction with those that search the
spirituality points however are skeptical of the upper being components in
conventional Japanese and Western spiritual actions.

Thus it could possibly be
that the Manner of the Future would attraction to these “folks of science” who
solid doubt on the existence of God however but search a better energy.

What could possibly be greater than an AI-powered supercomputer?
Levandowski’s view may place AI in the identical class as a messiah.

“I may see folks pinning their hopes on a super-intelligent AI, simply as within the 1950s folks thought UFOs may carry superior enlightenment,” added Wilson. “The millennium motion is
usually related to the arrival of such a messiah who ushers within the
new age — so why not from a machine?”

Nice AI Schisms

After all, any new faith is more likely to have its “Doubting Thomas” varieties as effectively.

“I am anticipating partnership with The Church of the Flying
Spaghetti Monster will quickly emerge,” stated Josh Crandall, principal
analyst at Netpop Research.

“That is the start of one thing larger — not only a single
faith, however an incubator for worshipping our rising AI overlords,”
Crandall quipped.

“We higher turn into snug with it, folks, as a result of devoted
engineers and scientists will convert in rising hordes because the logic
of AI-focused religions are extra convincing than our religious
beliefs,” he instructed TechNewsWorld.

“We may see schisms and denominational rifts as completely different AIs are
worshipped, too,” warned WMU’s Wilson. “It can even be onerous to foretell what
this new faith — or different just lately based religions — may resemble
in a thousand years.”

Or perhaps Levandowski is not actually critical in any respect.

“Possibly it is only a diversionary tactic to complicate the Waymo/Uber
mental property lawsuit that Mr. Levandowski is on the middle of
proper now,” recommended Netpop’s Crandall. “No matter — this new growth is a stroke
of genius.”


Peter Suciu has been an ECT Information Community reporter since 2012. His areas of focus embody cybersecurity, cellphones, shows, streaming media, pay TV and autonomous automobiles. He has written and edited for quite a few publications and web sites, together with Newsweek, Wired and FoxNews.com.
Email Peter.