Former Google and Uber engineer Anthony Levandowski has reportedly created a new religion called Way of the Future, which involves worshiping an artificial intelligence robot. The papers filed with the Internal Revenue Service in May state that the religion’s activities will revolve around “the realization, acceptance, and worship of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) developed through computer hardware and software,” according to Wired.
This also includes funding the research to create the divine AI itself.
“What is going to be created will effectively be a god,” Levandowski told Wired. “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?”
The documents also say that the church will conduct workshops and educational programs throughout California’s Bay Area beginning this year, Wired reported.
“The idea needs to spread before the technology,” he told Wired. “The church is how we spread the word, the gospel. If you believe (in it), start a conversation with someone else and help them understand the same things.”
Similar to other religions, Way of the Future will reportedly have a gospel called “The Manual,” public worship ceremonies and a place of worship, according to Wired.
Levandowski reportedly wants the newly created religion to ease the “inevitable” transition of computers exceeding human intelligence.
As reported by The Daily Wire, lawyer and AI expert John Mitchell expects the church would be successful because of human compulsion to “worship supreme understanding.”
“We (believe) there must be some higher power that causes lightning, sunsets, and crashing waves — or at least speaks to the bottom of our beings, rather than ignore them as ho-hum background,” Mitchell said.
The new AI church doesn’t believe in supernatural powers, but instead, believes in the idea that everything can be solved with science, according to the Daily Star. They also claim that machines have rights, including the right to become “super intelligent.”
The Way of the Future‘s website says it is important for machines to know who is friendly to their cause and who is not, so that there can be a “peaceful and respectful transition.”
“We’d like to make sure this is not seen as silly or scary,” Levandowski told Wired. “I want to remove the stigma about having an open conversation about AI, then iterate ideas and change people’s minds.”
He also wants the AI machine to see humans as its “beloved elders that it respects and take care of” so that it would say, “‘Humans should still have rights, even though I’m in charge,’” Wired reported.
In response to the question of when the Way of the Future’s AI will take charge, Levandowski replied: “I personally think it will happen sooner than people expect. Not next week or next year; everyone can relax. But it’s going to happen before we go to Mars.”