Former Google engineer is developing a god based on AI


#1

Originally published at https://ideapod.com/former-google-engineer-developing-god-based-ai/

Technology is shaping our world, creating it as if anew. And this new creation is about to have its own creator.

Say hello to a new religion that will have as its leader an AI god, only there is a human creator behind this god: former Google engineer Anthony Levandowski.

Named “Way of the Future”, the makings of the new religion was discovered by Wired in state filings in 2015.

Check out the Way of the Future mission statement:

“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.”

Way of the Future has not yet responded to requests for the forms it must submit annually to the Internal Revenue Service (and make publicly available), as a non-profit religious corporation. However, documents filed with California show that Levandowski is Way of the Future’s CEO, reports Wired.

Apparently we don’t know how the new religion will operate and at first glance, the idea of an algorithm god seems preposterous, until one thinks back on the development of mankind’s relationship with a creator or the divine, whatever you choose to call it.

Religion and with it the concept of god has changed repeatedly as long as mankind has had the need to turn to some force outside himself for answers to his existence. As societies changed, so did religion.

According to Yuval Noah Harari, a lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the author of “Sapiens: a Brief History of Humankind”, religion is not eternal and unchanging. Religions such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism have survived for centuries and millennia not by clinging to some eternal values, but by repeatedly changing with the times.

He writes: “New technologies kill old gods and give birth to new gods. That is why agricultural deities were different from hunter-gatherer spirits, why factory hands and peasants fantasized about different paradises, and why the revolutionary technologies of the 21st century are far more likely to spawn unprecedented religious movements than to revive medieval creeds.”

Religions must keep up with technological advances otherwise they have no ability to answer the questions that arise, says Harari. Is there a priest, a rabbi or an imam who can answer a question such as the following: Will a cyborg qualify for salvation?

Already we are being told that AI will soon outperform and surpass humans in all tasks and in all aspects, the advent of which is being referred to as the “singularity”. AI, by all accounts, is steadily and inexorably on its way to becoming god-like: omnipotent and omnipresent.

Whether some guy in Silicon Valley takes the initiative to proclaim an AI as a god, or not, we already have a technology god in the process of being born. Many people might not realize that.


#2

This article is a superficial treatment of both religion and artificial intelligence. Religion takes as many forms as there are adherents, but the point of religion is not to provide answers for existence. Artificial intelligence is supposed to represent a new lifeform. This is questionable and any related religion would find itself devoid of purpose. Religion’s purpose is to express a relationship between creator and created. The essence of this relationship is humility and mystery. There is no mystery between the creator and the created in artificial intelligence: only software written in algorithmic programming language. Omnipotent or god-like? No. Omnipresent? Perhaps.


#3

#4

My first instinct is to dismiss this along with the embarrassing amount of tax Dodging schemes .

I will after a second thought respond to the overall Utopia being sought out with this wave of technology.
Ok, first, humans have always rejected Utopia and always will. Life must be inherently, a struggle and it must have mysteries.

Rats for example are impossible to eradicate until you put them in Utopia. There was an actual experiment done in a controlled environment where in the rats only had play and limitless food and to perpetuate the species. Within a few generations, they were all dead.

Humans need occupation, not just to make money , if I for example flip burgers I see society eat them, then on a fundamental level, I feel my existence justified. This should not be casually dismissed.

Trust is the only true currency, cash is merely a manifestation of the trust. You trust in society, society trusts you , it works for the most part.

However when we get the universal basic income, that trust will take on a huge paradigm shift, trust will become dependence, dependence becomes resentment, resentment becomes anarchy. We need to feel our existence justified in my view.

Life must always be more than the stack of facts purported by science and government. The struggle towards Utopia is great, getting Utopia is a problem.
Because it’s the struggle that we need, not it’s outcome.
We need mystery as well , not just existence.

Just a thought.


#5

Someone using the tools they know to make a buck. Sounds like the traveling snake oil salesman from the 1850s. If they find people who will buy what they are selling that is our country. I pay no attention to such.


#6

We cannot replicate, simulate or duplicate God because it will violate the “Incompleteness Theory” coined by Kurt Godel. That there is a Platonic “World of Forms” apart from our Aristotelian “Real World”. If our syntax is limited by the Incompleteness Theorem then no amount of programming language can duplicate God.


#7

How would you test such a god? Meeting a really advanced alien race we could believe they were God because they could do anything with technology that we expect a God to be able to do. Perhaps God will ensure we can create a God so they can talk about us?


#8

God lacks one thing, limitation.
Thank God for limitation.


#9

How do you know, interview or perhaps a manual?


#10

We’re a curious, insecure, adventurous species. At the moment, we’ve created about three designer babies, put human genes into monkey brains, & are busy designing artificial beings with “intelligence. The next logical step is to create a “religion” that guides these creations which something or someone did for us which we summarize as God. Don’t forget, he, she, it designed this universe based it on a set of principles that were allowed to evolve over time so that they are barely recognizable now. All of earth’s species & plants have a psychological insecurity which allows us to “eat” each other literally or figuratively. We humans call it competition for which we use money as an indicator of status or success. If you look at Mother Nature you will see that the inanimate objects (planets, asteroids, galaxies) fight for dominance & generally bash each other when given the chance. Religions, business, governments & personal relationships have all borrowed history, adopted approaches, etc. that strengthen physical & psychological control over others. We humans play follow the leader in everything we do. If you do an in depth analysis of the various life forms, you will begin to swear up, down, & across that some where designed by a committee (camels here).


#11

That is why I focus on the world in my SF stories, at least the aliens have no problems, at least until they need to interact with us. Since there is no gain in that scene you know why they haven’t. The world as it is today has many cooks in this stew, I wonder why so many people want to change the recipe.


#12

"How do you know? "
Great question.
At what point does opinion become knowledge and is that only in hubris. I like to write what I think, picking words helps to map out the idea to a higher resolution for me.
How do I know that God only lacks one thing, limitation ?
Well I can say that I’m wrestling with my opinion by writing about it to a resolution that can be observed to be knowledge. Or perhaps I can say the overall Archetypal image of God is that he has no limitation as we know it. If humanity has this archetypal image and humanity is alive then I think that the archetypal field is alive at some level, and even if it is only perceived by us as abstract can it be More real than we know ?
I think that we couldn’t operate without limitation, for example , my arm reach has limits so I use rotation and steps to navigate picking up my keys.
Also we can say the table is a table because it has limits in height for us.
I think it’s possible that the universe has no end that in itself implies no limitation as a concept, but I recognize that we find that hard to grasp at best.


#13

This is why I have my own universe in which I author the rules. The other universe is to fuzzy, too many opinions. It may be that I have been blessed with a true insight into everything and my universe is actually the real universe. Works for me.


#14

You’re the man Bill. What other choice do you have.
Even if I plod in hubris, if I acknowledge the hubris, then on a fundamental level, it isn’t hubris anymore.


#15

In your universe, where do you go for truth?


#16

Wherever I go, there I am. If I perceive a line of thought, I can say is this true or false ? The answer is I can file it in hubris either way I like. Filing a thought is like freezing water , I like to think the world is in movement and motions at the same time. I like to use a label and the non label simultaneously. It seems to open potential of vision.

Here’s a bee, everyone you meet is you , only in a parallel universe. Is that true ? Depends on your field of vision.


#17

So you do it just as I do, you create a universe that you want and make the things true that fit your view in your universe. Thank you for a vote of confidence. It is good to know I am not alone.


#18

That’s all any of us do. It seems to be a duality that folks pick a side on. Right wing, left wing, science or religion, the chemical payoffs of the thought patterns typically decide the choice.


#19

Well, there are thoughts that deny science or medicine or history and they may take their thoughts with them when they leave. Perhaps it is results that count. With the help of a good AI, a passing space ship I could write a wonderful success for people kind.