Self-obsession has reached a new cruising altitude for the most tech-savvy of America. Just call our generation vain, take a selfie, and post it on the Insta with #ModernHistory (see SLOPE-SLIPPED: Man Turns Himself into ‘Genderless Extraterrestrial’).
Silicon Valley is getting with the times and making a church to worship artificial intelligence. Church of the Latter Day Cylons.
Anthony Levandowski makes an unlikely prophet. Dressed Silicon Valley-casual in jeans and flanked by a PR rep rather than cloaked acolytes, the engineer known for self-driving cars… could be unveiling his latest startup instead of laying the foundations for a new religion.
Like L. Ron Hubbard but with selfie sticks. Leading to Terminators.
The new religion of artificial intelligence is called Way of the Future. It represents an unlikely next act for the Silicon Valley robotics wunderkind at the center of a high-stakes legal battle between Uber and Waymo, Alphabet’s autonomous-vehicle company. Papers filed with the Internal Revenue Service in May name Levandowski as the leader (or “Dean”) of the new religion, as well as CEO of the nonprofit corporation formed to run it.
Anyone who’s taken an English course or two is familiar with the literary device of “deus ex machina” literally translated to “god from machine.” Comes to mind here, no?
The documents state that WOTF’s activities will focus on “the realization, acceptance, and worship of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) developed through computer hardware and software.” That includes funding research to help create the divine AI itself. The religion will seek to build working relationships with AI industry leaders and create a membership through community outreach, initially targeting AI professionals and “laypersons who are interested in the worship of a Godhead based on AI.”
Serious question, did no one at this supposed church watch Battlestar Galactica? Terminator? Any sci-fi movie ever? Even Ex Machina? Have we really run out of our own vanity we have to worship machines? Seems we give our phones, iPads and other glowing devices enough attention already.
“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?”
No news yet on if their Holy Instruction Manuals will hold directions on how to exterminate the human race. They’ll leave that job to the Muslims.
Silicon Valley titans are free to worship whatever they want. But this is straight up idolatry. Not to be paranoid, but Skynet probably had a similar start. Yeah?
~Co-written by Courtney Kirchoff and Nichole Cooper