If you work on technology issues in the transportation sector on Capitol Hill, you probably know the name, Anthony Levandowski, the guy who designed and built Google’s first driverless car, among other neat stuff.
Levandowski is such a believer in Artificial Intelligence (AI) that he literally went out and founded a church —Way of the Future Church —that in its statement of beliefs sounds, well, maybe a little whacko but definitely committed to bringing about an AI-driven paradise on earth:
“Way of the Future (WOTF) is about creating a peaceful and respectful transition of who is in charge of the planet from people to people + ‘machines.’
“Given that technology will ‘relatively soon’ be able to surpass human abilities, we want to help educate people about this exciting future and prepare a smooth transition.”
But Mind Matters’ Brendan Dixon sees a couple of interesting recent developments with Levandowski: “Not only does the Way of the Future site no longer mention ‘god,’ Levandowski may have gone apostate on self-driving cars.”
Seems Levandowski has come to realize that having a human being behind the wheel can be an essential element in making driving safer, especially during the transition to fully automated vehicles down the road as AI develops further.
As for the god angle, the fact the deity is no longer explicitly mentioned on the WOTF web site is especially significant since the church’s incorporation papers reportedly described its purpose as to “develop and promote the realization of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence.”
“Not only does the Way of the Future site no longer mention ‘god,’ Levandowski may have gone apostate on self-driving cars.”
Now the “What Is This All About” statement declares “we believe in science (the universe came into existence 13.7 billion years ago and if you can’t re-create/test something it doesn’t exist). There is no such thing as ‘supernatural’ powers. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”
Read the statement again and a little more closely and you will perhaps think what Levandowski is really believing is that “intelligence” that creates “machines” is god and they “will integrate into society (and even have a path for becoming in charge as they become smarter and smarter).”
I think that makes Levandowski a prophet, no?
So for you legislative directors and assistants tasked with recommendations for the boss on issues like where should federal research dollars go on the AI/transportation front, the takeaway here is two-fold:
“I think that makes Levandowski a prophet, no?”
First, it’s probably time to step back from the recent unrestrained enthusiasm for driverless cars are in order, and, second, interesting how even the smart guy who doesn’t believe there is such a thing as “supernatural” power still manages to find a supreme ruler.
Every human heart, including those who deny God exists, has a deeply ingrained desire to know why we’re here, how we got here and where are we going. If those are questions on your mind these days, be careful, you may be on your way to an encounter of the divine kind.
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