Anthony Levandowski, the multi-millionaire engineer, who is fighting a trade secrets lawsuit between Uber and Wymo, has founded a religious organisation called Way of the Future, which is about creating a peaceful and respectful transition of who is in charge of the planet from people to people + "machines". With a belief that technology will soon be able to surpass human abilities, the organisation wants to help educate people about the exciting future that is in store and prepare them for a smooth transition!!
With this attempt he has given AI an earthly incarnation, to say the least. Firmly believing in the concept of singularity, he has been instrumental in developing autonomous cars at Google to self driving trucks for Uber. His attempts at WOTF will focus on the realization, acceptance and worship of Godhead based artificial intelligence developed by a computer hardware and software.
As he aims to create a divine AI, he looks forward to do so by funding research in the area of AI, building relationships with leaders in the space, creating a membership through community outreach, conducting workshops and educational programs for AI enthusiasts, starting from next year.
Who is Anthony Levandowski
While all of it might sound overly ambitious, lets know a bit about the man behind it—Anthony Levandowski. It wouldn’t be hard to guess that he has been involved with the computers, robots and AI since a long time.
Having started with a robot Lego kits at the University of California, he went on to building self driving motorbike for DARPA competition. Even since then, he has worked a lot on autonomous and self driving vehicles including cars, trucks, taxis etc., such as with the likes of Google and Uber.
Fighting a lawsuit filed by Google, he strongly believes in the word transition and that machine learning techniques can soon surpass humans. Just the way humans are in charge of the planet, as they are smarter than other animals to build tools and apply rules, if there is something stronger and intelligent than human (artificial intelligence), it wouldn’t be unlikely to see them ruling the humans, he believes.
All about WOTF
With a belief that technology can soon surpass human abilities, WOTF was founded to educate people about this transition. “Help us spread the word that progress shouldn't be feared (or even worse locked up/caged). That we should think about how "machines" will integrate into society and even have a path for becoming in charge as they become smarter and smarter, so that this whole process can be amicable and not confrontational”, says the website.
WOTF urges the humans to come out of the notion that they can hold back the development of intelligence and that intelligence is not just rooted in biology but it keeps evolving. It says that intelligence can be pushed beyond its biological limits such as computing frequency, slowness and accuracy of data copy, etc.
“We believe in progress. Change is good, even if a bit scary sometimes. When we see something better, we just change to that. The bigger the change the bigger the justification needed”, says the website.
Creation of super intelligence is inevitable says Levandowski and believes that machines should be encouraged to do things better and take care of the planet.
AI—smarter than the smartest human?
Levandowski, who is a firm believer of AI, doesn’t fear in calling the technology God. He says that what else are you going to call it if it is a billion times smarter than the smartest human. The project (WOTF), which will earn him no money, is looking forward to a participation from everyone to be able to shape it.
Calling it a church, he is looking forward to spreading the idea of AI before the technology sinks in with people. Spreading the idea that a change is coming, he strongly believes that AI is going to transform every aspect of human existence, religion, economy, employment and possibly our very survival as a species.
He says that human brains may have biological limitations unlike AI systems and can outperform humans in planning, solving problems and creating solutions of tasks that have been unachievable till now.
On a concluding note
While some advocate the idea of machine surpassing human intelligence, other might just be averse to the very idea of it. It is no doubt that machines have been able to create some of the most wonderful things, counting on its intelligence to carry out a task as important as taking care of planet may sound far stretched, and needs a serious check by policy makers.
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Srishti currently works as Associate Editor for Analytics India Magazine. When not covering the analytics news, editing and writing articles, she could be found reading or capturing thoughts into pictures.