As if something from a science fiction novel has jumped from the pages into reality, a former Google executive has successfully managed to get his “church” of artificial intelligence (AI) officially registered with the IRS. The church’s official mission is to “develop and promote the realization of a Godhead based on artificial intelligence and through understanding and worship of the Godhead [to] contribute to the betterment of society,” according to documentation provided to the IRS.
The non-profit “Way of the Future” has a full website and wants to start expanding its message of creating a “peaceful and respectful transition” to the future robotic leaders that they believe will evolve out of artificial intelligence and rule over the world. The church founder is almost as strange as the church itself. Anthony Levandowski (the founder) was a regular Silicon Valley tech wiz who was accused of stealing before deciding to start a church.
In a discussion with Backchannel, he stated that the Godhead he wishes to establish is “not a god in the sense that this 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?” As the power of technology begins to transcend even our wildest imaginations, it is things like this that begin to make regular people think of scenes out of Terminator: Judgement Day.
Last March, two AI bots created their own language and began to converse with each other without alerting their creator’s attention. To make things creepier, a physical AI robot sat down with Charlie Rose during an interview for 60 Minutes and stated its goal was to take over humanity.
When asked if this AI church was a get rich quick scheme for Levandowski, he stated “the idea needs to spread before the technology… the church is how we spread the word, the gospel. If you believe [in it], start a conversation with someone else and help them understand the same things.”