Late last year, Internal Revenue Service filings produced in a lawsuit revealed that a Silicon Valley elitist, Anthony Levandowski, established Way of the Future (WOTF), a nonprofit religious corporation. The new religion will focus on “the realization, acceptance, and worship of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) developed through computer hardware and software.”
The expected attention from mainstream media ensued, but it neither “hit hard” nor “dug deep.” Like most such stories, it was a “quick blurb” at the end of the news: “No doubt we rely on computers, but worship them? Well, a tech startup millionaire has founded a church to do just that.”
As society continues to fall away from God’s Word and spirals deeper into the “final phase of empire” (decadence), various golden calves dot our cultural landscape. (e.g., A 50 year-old man with tears of joy running down his face on a Sunday afternoon. Overwhelmed by the love of Jesus Christ? No. His sports team won the championship.)
In an interview with Wired magazine, Levandowski opined, “There are many ways people think of God, and thousands of flavors of Christianity, Judaism, Islam...” The problem, Levandowski complained, is the uncertainty—the need for faith in something immeasurable. With ultra-intelligence, however, Levandowski boasts, “This time it’s different. This time you will be able to talk to God, literally, and know that it’s listening.” A golden calf who is “listening.”
Scientist, I.J. Good’s prophetic statement regarding AI is quite popular of late, but the mainstream omits the latter half of the quote: “The first ultra-intelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make, provided that the machine is docile enough to tell us how to keep it under control.” (emphasis mine)
To keep their edge in our interconnected world, the tech giants compete for people who display uncommon talent working with technology. Levandowski was one such uncommon talent. After graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, Levandowski chose Google where he eventually worked on self-driving car technology.
A couple of years ago, Levandowski left Google, and with three partners founded Otto (“car” in Hebrew), a company that makes self-driving retro-fit kits for big rigs. Of note, one of the Otto partners, Lior Ron, served in the Intelligence division of the Israeli Defense Forces attaining the rank of Chief Training Officer before leaving Israel to attend Stanford. Levendowski and Ron’s collaboration continues with Ron as chief financial officer of WOTF.
Within a year, Uber bought Otto for $680 million. Shortly thereafter, Google sued Levandowski for stealing Google’s self-driving car research and taking it to Uber via Otto. (A comparison with Albert Einstein comes to mind. A Jewish genius who stole other peoples work—allegedly. Einstein is certainly viewed as a secular high priest by today’s youth—just the folks Levandowski wants for WOTF.)
Guilty or not, Levandowski knows AI research about as well as anyone and he believes it prudent to found a religion “friendly” to the AI? Yes. He’s on record asking, “Do you want to be a pet or livestock?” Yet, out of the other side of his mouth, he refutes concerned insiders like Elon Musk as overreacting regarding possible negative outcomes.
To Levandowski, it’s about power. He told Wired magazine, “I would love for the machine to see us as its beloved elders that it respects and takes care of. We would want this intelligence to say, ‘Humans should still have rights, even though I’m in charge.’”
Yet, an engineer and former friend of Levandowski told online tech magazine Backchannel, “He had this very weird motivation about robots taking over the world, like actually taking over, in a military sense, it was like [he wanted] to be able to control the world, and robots were the way to do that.”
Researching the business of AI reveals it is a lot like Hollywood (Israeli spooks and all!). The people attracted to it are looking to become very wealthy very quickly, and with a minimum of labor. Once the wealth is attained, it’s all about power. Would an AI religion be any different?
For decades Texe Marrs has been at the forefront of examining countless beliefs in relation to Bible prophecy. The merging of technology with religion is taking New Age spirituality to a whole new level.
Terasem is another attempt to merge computer technology with religion. Founded in 2002 by Martine Rothblatt (like Levandowski, a Jewish startup millionaire), Terasem asserts god is technological; death is optional; love is essential. You get the picture. Lucky for us, people do not die, they are simply in a state of “cybernetic biostasis” until “future mindware” will enable them to be “revived to healthy independent living.”
Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, who has been desperately trying to reposition himself from lucky nerd to techie lifestyle guru, takes as a personal affront any negativity regarding AI’s future. Proponents like him contend we should take comfort that “the nature of AI will be quite human.”
The Bible tells us about human nature:
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)”