The Singularity is a term people use to infuse terror whenever they’re talking about the future of technology. It’s a scary word, because it talks about the moment – impending or not – when computers will finally be smarter than humans, rendering us irrelevant and unnecessary, and ultimately, transforming the way our world works. Singularity is the stuff of science fiction, and it’s scary because every year it feels more plausible.
Anthony Levandowsky doesn’t seem to share our fear of the technological singularity. A multimillionaire and genius from Silicon Valley, Levandowsky has worked for Google and has developed brilliant technological endeavors, including a self driving truck he sold to Uber for a lot of money. Among his creations, he’s also found time to develop a religion called the Way of the Future. Wired reports that the purpose of this religion is to “develop and promote the realization of a Godhead based on artificial intelligence”. Supposedly, this religion will also look for ways of improving society through the understanding and worship of the Godhead.
While some experts like Ray Kurzweil claim that the Singularity won’t be the end of us, instead opening up opportunities for humanity, others scientists like Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking claim the opposite.
With artificial intelligence, we are summoning the demon. You know all those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram and the holy water and he’s like, yeah, he’s sure he can control the demon? Doesn’t work out.”
Levandowsky hasn’t talked openly about his plans with Way of the Future, but his proposal of wanting to create, revere, and understand a Godhead suggest that he either doesn’t know what he’s getting into or he really does. Sadly, no matter how informed we are, this is a topic that will mostly be determined by the experts and by those who are involved in the industry. All of us, non-tech people, will be left looking on from the sidelines, waiting to see what happens.