May 29, 2024

An AI alternative to organised religion

There are several quasi-religious organisations now operational in Silicon Valley

Tired of organised religion? Maybe you should join a Silicon Valley religious start-up.

Former Uber exec Anthony Levandowski, for example, has registered a non-for-profit religious organisation in California, going by the name of Way of the Future. According to Wired, Way of the Future aims 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”.

Levandowski’s De ex Machina religion is just one of several quasi-religious organisations now operational in the Californian tech belt.

“The church does a terrible job of reaching out to Silicon Valley types,” says Christopher Benek, a pastor in Florida and founding chair of the Christian Transhumanist Association. Benek argues that  AI can participate in Christ’s redemptive purposes,” he said, by ensuring it is imbued with Christian values. “Even if people don’t buy organized religion, they can buy into ‘do unto others’.”

Self-proclaimed transhumanist visionary Zoltan Istvan argues that religion and science converge conceptually in the singularity.

“God, if it exists as the most powerful of all singularities, has certainly already become pure organized intelligence,” he said, referring to an intelligence that “spans the universe through subatomic manipulation of physics”.

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