A religion centered around worshiping AI sounds like a concept for a Sci-Fi movie, and if movies like Avengers: Age of Ultron, I Am Robot, Transcendence, and many others are to trust, god-like AI entities tend to old testament on the human race. However, there is one thing people almost universally agree on and that is the machines and technology are evolving. Machine learning has had amazing leaps over the past decade, from software that calculates best chess moves based on the information it is fed, to the ones that actually learn as they play and come up with their own strategies like AlphaGo.
In other words, we are getting closer to the AI from the Sci-Fi movies and the possibility of an all-knowing machine is not at far fetched. Anthony Levandowski is actually serious about this concept, and he has started his own religion called “Way of the Future”. So let us go a bit deeper and see what it is all about.
Before starting WOTF Anthony Levandowski worked on the autonomous vehicle project for Google, project that also required revolutionary AI and if implemented could save millions of lives. Anthony stated that the creation of superintelligence is bound to happen, and even though it sounds crazy it is something that should be embraced. If we are able to create machines who can take better care of the planet and that is friendly then there is nothing to fear.
Starting a new religion
Even we are still far away from creating a fully artificial brain, there is another issue with this and that is creating a compelling new religion and myths. If superintelligence is ever created the story will surely involve all the people who were working on that project, but will those myths offer valuable life lessons. Whether you believe in the bible or not, if you look at its stories a lot of them do offer valuable life lessons and wisdom.
Another aspect of religion is a sense of community but also has a central figure of authority. Sure it might not be an absolute necessity, but a more liberal approach might have a negative impact on its longevity. Rituals and traditions might not have any practical purpose but they do keep the community together and remind them of their faith. It’s not that this religion cannot or will not have its customs, traditions, and mythos, but what will the great AI they worship think about it? In other words, an all-knowing machine might know the answers and have your best interest, but it does not have a need to be worshiped so what is the point?