Robert J. Marks: Not only will we be reborn into new, immortal silicon bodies but rules regarding theft don’t seem to apply anymore…
This is not your everyday deity! Unlike the uncreated Creator of Judeo-Christian belief, Levandowski’s god is not eternal. The AI church requires “funding research to help create the divine AI itself.”
And apparently the AI church has no equivalent of the ten commandments. Especially the commandment about stealing. In his day job, Levandowski developed self-driving cars. He moved from Google’s self-driving car company, Waymo, to Uber’s research team. Then, in 2019, Levandowski was indicted for stealing trade secrets from Google. Before leaving Google in 2016, he copied 14,000 files onto his laptop. Uber fired him in 2017 when they found out.
In 2020, Levandowski pled guilty and was sentenced to eighteen months in prison. He was also ordered to pay a $95,000 fine and $756,499.22 to Google. (One wonders where the 22 cents came from.) The judge in the case, William Alsup, observed that “this is the biggest trade secret crime I have ever seen. This was not small. This was massive in scale.” Levandowski later declared bankruptcy because he owed Google an additional $179 million for his crime. His church folded.
Levandowski was granted a full pardon by Donald Trump on Trump’s last day in office. In Christianity, forgiveness involves repentance and accepting the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross as payment. In the AI church, forgiveness apparently comes from Donald Trump.Robert J. Marks, “Artificial intelligence, worshipped as God, is no ordinary deity!” at Mind Matters News (July 10, 2022)
Takehome: The AI church folded in a scandal. But the dream that AI will write better AI, achieve superintelligence, and turn us all into gods, lives. It can’t die. Call it the Silicon Apple if you want.
You may also wish to read: The President pardons the founder of a church that worships AI. On his last day in office, departing President Trump pardoned Anthony Levandowski. Who is Levandowski? He started a church that worships AI. He explained it to the IRS. But that wasn’t all.