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Anthony Levandowski Thinks His AI Church Worshippers Will Need Their Own Country

Levandowski. Photo: Otto

Anthony Levandowski, the former Google engineer turned Uber engineer turned unemployed engineer (he was fired from Uber in May amid an ongoing lawsuit involving stolen self-driving-car technology), wants us all to worship at the altar of technology. Back in 2015, long before the Uber/Google drama, he founded the Way of the Future, a church founded on the idea that humans will eventually build a technology so much better and smarter and faster than our own minds we will worship it as a deity. WOTF had been mostly set aside, until Levandowski started moving things again this May when, uh, coincidentally, he drafted the church’s bylaws the day after Uber first threatened to fire him, Wired reports in an interview with Levandowski. While we still don’t know everything about WOTF, today’s interview offers a little more insight into how Levandowski, who is both the church’s self-appointed leader (or “dean”) and its unpaid CEO, thinks the tax-exempt religious organization will operate and develop.

On tech as “god:”
“It’s not a god in the sense that it 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?”

On said god’s possible righteous and awesome powers:
“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.’”

On other religions:
“There are many ways people think of God, and thousands of flavors of Christianity, Judaism, Islam … but they’re always looking at something that’s not measurable or you can’t really see or control. This time it’s different. This time you will be able to talk to God, literally, and know that it’s listening.”

On potential religious persecution:
“This is a radical new idea that’s pretty scary, and evidence has shown that people who pursue radical ideas don’t always get received well. At some point, maybe there’s enough persecution that [WOTF] justifies having its own country.”

Levandowski will act as dean of WOTF until he either chooses to resign his post or her dies, according to the church’s bylaws. He also gets to appoint three advisers — they’re all men — and has final say on whether or not they should ever be fired. (A felony would overrule this.)

Anthony Levandowski Thinks His AI Church Needs Own Country