All Hail The Godbot: In Silicon Valley Artificial Intelligence Isn’t Just King, It’s Literally A New Religion

The Way of the Future has no church, no worshipers, no doctrine, no scripture and no rituals

“Knowledge has already separated from the human mind to be embodied in artificial intelligences like Siri. Navigation, once done by reference to the heavens, has become an exercise in submission to apps like Waze. Divine omniscience is replicated in the surveillance of life-tracking devices like the Fitbit.”

 

There are reasons to be skeptical of The Way of the Future, a newly incorporated American religion that worships artificial intelligence as “the Godhead.”

It has no church, no worshipers, no doctrine, no scripture, and no rituals. But Anthony Levandowksi, the multi-millionaire engineer who secretly founded it in 2015, and today serves as president and CEO, has a track record of predicting and capitalizing on the future, as he did for example in the self-driving car industry.

The Way of the Future, a non-profit religious corporation in California, says its purpose is “To develop and promote the realization of a Godhead based on artificial intelligence and through understanding and worship of the Godhead contribute to the betterment of society,” according to records obtained by Wired magazine.

Worshipping the artificial intelligence of computers sounds far-fetched, even for a religion, but it builds on a faith in the power of technology that already flirts with messianic dreams and apocalyptic visions.

Knowledge has already separated from the human mind to be embodied in artificial intelligences like Siri. Navigation, once done by reference to the heavens, has become an exercise in submission to apps like Waze. Divine omniscience is replicated in the surveillance of life-tracking devices like the Fitbit.

From medicine and economics to politics and warfare, artificial intelligence is starting to guide human affairs in a way religion once did. And as machines exceed our human ability to give structure and meaning to life, a sense of reverence kicks in.

So no matter whether Levandowksi founded The Way of the Future as a prank, a scam, a prospective tax dodge, or out of a genuine hope for the advent of a Godbot, the time might be right for the gospel of AI.

The cultural groundwork is in place. Ancient concepts of revelation, transcendence and deliverance map easily onto new ideas of artificial intelligence, robotics, post-humanism and the predicted “singularity,” the merging of man and machine.

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