Thursday


What is next logical step for someone who was the head of Google's self-driving car project? However creative you may be, your guess wouldn't even come close to what Anthony Levandowski did.

In September 2015, Anthony Levandowski, the Uber engineer who was fired in May following the lawsuit filed by Waymo (i.e., Google’s self-driving car company), has founded a religious organization called Way of the Future. According to state filings, which were revealed only last Wednesday by  Wired’s Backchannel, Way of the Future's goal is nothing short of the establishment and promotion of an AI deity whose worshipers' main purpose is to contribute to the betterment of society.

Levandowski, the former head of Waymo, co-founded the self-driving technology company Otto, which was sold to Uber in 2016. His alleged role in stealing trade secrets from Google to further develop Otto's technologies, is at the root of the Waymo's lawsuit against Uber. His actions, along with his refusal to cooperate in the investigation, ultimately culminated in him being fired from Uber in May.

While the idea of a religion emerging from Silicon Valley's closed circles might sound like an unlikely scenario, the truth is that several CEOs hold the belief that it is only a matter of time until we reach the Singularity. The Singularity refers to a point in time when artificial intelligence surpasses our own. Some of these executives have even predicted the exact date of the Singularity like Softbank’s CEO Masayoshi Son who thinks it will happen in 2047. Google's chief of engineering, Ray Kurzweil, went as far as to say that we will reach the Singularity in 2029 and that life as we know it will end by 2045.

Even though creating a religion to promote AI development might seem like a very unconventional way to go about the quest for a supreme AI existence, the fact of the matter remains that artificial intelligence has effectively ceased to be a mere science fiction concept. This is a good indicator that AI technologies are increasingly becoming part of our daily lives, and after all, the idea of a God-like AI machine might not be as far-fetched as it seems. 
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