There’s a New Church in Town, and Their God is an A.I.

The end is near! The end is near! Well… only if you’re against them. For real, though. There are actually people starting a new religion built around artificial intelligence, and it’s pretty cool and scary at the same time. Thanks, Black Mirror.

Anthony Levandowski, a former self-driving car engineer at Google, has started to develop a new religion that is built around artificial intelligence called Way of the Future (WOTF). If you ask us, we’d say that sounds pretty damn cool.

Levandowski (right) at MCE 2016 (source: Wikipedia/Transport Topics)

WOTF’s activities will focus on “the realisation, acceptance, and worship of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) developed through computer hardware and software,” including funding research to help create the divine AI itself.

Although the religion, at the moment, resembles more of a club for AI industry leaders and professionals as well as “laypersons who are interested in the worship of a Godhead based on AI,” Levandowski, in an interview with Wired.com, said, “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?”

He also said in the Wired interview that the idea behind his religion is that one day — “not next week or next year” — sufficiently advanced artificial intelligence will be smarter than humans, and will effectively become a god.

Sounds like something straight from a sci-fi movie, right?

Insert Skynet has gone sentient cliché here. (source: Terminator 2: Judgment Day)

Well this one isn’t fiction anymore – he’s really doing it, guys.

It’s not all a walk in the park though, Levandowski is facing a serious lawsuit from his former employer at Google that claims he stole self-driving technology for Uber.

That aside, his idea of creating a religion and a church with an AI god sounds pretty cool considering how fast technology is evolving now, we’d say his idea is believable. Come on, isn’t life just patterns that we can code? It’s all algorithms, man.

Not to say that the hypothetical worship of an AI is agreeable, or that anyone should, or that this news isn’t scaring the heck out of our collective consciousness (thanks fictional AI-induced dystopias), but it’s something that we should think about and discuss as it might be happening sooner than we expect.

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