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Engineer hopes to build an AI ‘god’ with its very own religion.

The concept of an AI “god” may seem outlandish, but a former Google and Uber engineer is touting the idea of a high-tech “deity” as a way to improve society. Think about how much we depend on Apple Siri and Amazon Alexa today. We ask the AI bot for directions, to check on the weather,...
Time: 13:35     Date: 06.12.2017
World Tech News: Engineer hopes to build an AI ‘god’ with its very own religion. NY Post 24 - US News

Think about how much we depend on Apple Siri and Amazon Alexa today. We ask the AI bot for directions, to check on the weather, and to dim the lights in our house. Few of us know the complex engineering required to make this happen, we just trust it will work.

By 2029, computers will reach human levels of intelligence, according to one theory. In fact, Google already uses a bot called the Assistant that can answer just about any web-search related inquiry. Could what we trust and rely on so heavily on a daily basis evolve into a “religion” or a cult?

A well-known engineer who worked at Google and Uber named Anthony Levandowski has founded a new AI-based religion called Way of the Future. The charter? To worship and understand “the Godhead” for the betterment of society.

At least one expert suggested the idea of an AI godhead might be overblown, however.

“The recent coverage of AI as a single, unified power is a predictable upshot of a self-aggrandizing Silicon Valley culture that believes it can summon a Godhead,” says Thomas Arnold, a research associate at Tufts University’s Human-Robot Interaction Laboratory.

According to Arnold, the idea of an AI religion is really more about the tech elite thinking they can summon a religion from “whole cloth” — similar to how the industry thinks one single app can be transcendent in society or life-changing in some way. Instead, he argues that the cold and impractical nature of technology is not exactly a match made in heaven.

“The ideas of mourning, loss, tragedy, social justice, and larger responsibilities to a neighbor — which the world religious tradition have gradually developed resources to accommodate, reflect upon, and offer rich re-framings thereof — are largely dispensed with in the AI as religion evocations,” he says. God only knows if anyone will worship an AI that’s so sterile.

An AI could write a bible for how to live and expect humans to become subservient. It’s one reason Elon Musk has decried the dangers of AI, saying superintelligence is more dangerous than North Korean nukes. Musk has slammed the concept of an AI “god.”

Nonetheless, AI is clearly extending its reach into society. A podcaster named Rose Eveleth helped create an algorithm that wrote an AI bible gathered from sacred writings. It’s a remarkable exercise, even though the result is mostly gibberish. Whether that really matters is open to debate, according to the experts.

“An AI would provide the equivalent of a ‘Messiah’ — having many orders of magnitude more processing elements than the brain, enabling it to gift us with solutions to the most daunting social, political, economic, and environmental challenges,” says Dr. Stephen Thaler, the president and CEO of Imagination Engines who is an AI and consciousness expert.

Seminary grad and lawyer John Mitchell says humans have a tendency to “worship supreme understanding” — and that applies to AI. “We [believe] there must be some higher power that causes lightning, sunsets, and crashing waves — or at least speaks to the bottom of our beings, rather than ignore them as ho-hum background,” he says, suggesting the same thing could happen with AI or that AI could help us understand religion better.

Of course, a superintelligent AI would likely not want to be worshipped, preferring to merely guide humanity in ways that we perceive as being (mostly) helpful.

“I would expect the AIs that evolve in the next 50 years to be very rational and, if conscious, not want to be worshipped. If they have the human race’s best interests at heart (and God help us if they don’t) then they would want us to have as much right of self-determination as possible,” says book author and computer consultant Peter Scott.

Tech

World Tech News: Straight Trump supporters have a new dating app. NY Post 24 - US News
Straight Trump supporters have a new dating app.
A dating site that promises to “make dating great again” matches Trump-supporting singles looking for love. “We believe...
World Tech News: This startup can help make moving day a bit less miserable. NY Post 24 - US News
This startup can help make moving day a bit less miserable.
People moving out of a rental apartment may soon be able to pocket a little cash during the transition, thanks to a New York...
World Tech News: Facebook will mail postcards to verify ads, prevent meddling. NY Post 24 - US News
Facebook will mail postcards to verify ads, prevent meddling.
MENLO PARK, Calif. — Facebook will soon rely on centuries-old technology to try to prevent foreign meddling in U.S. elections:...
World Tech News: Bitcoin could bounce back big-time in 2018: analyst. NY Post 24 - US News
Bitcoin could bounce back big-time in 2018: analyst.
Despite its price plunge, some diehard bitcoin aficionados still say the beleaguered cryptocurrency could hit six figures...

Opinion

Last US News - Opinion: No, America: Lebanon is not your friend. NY Post 24 - US News
No, America: Lebanon is not your friend.
Is Lebanon America’s friend? The Trump administration, like its predecessors, wrongfully believes it can be. Even before...
Last US News - Opinion: When gentrification winds up meaning confiscation. NY Post 24 - US News
When gentrification winds up meaning confiscation.
Congratulations! The house you bought in Jersey City in the mid-’80s has increased sevenfold in value. Condolences: The...
Last US News - Opinion: Where do the #MeToo accused go from here?. NY Post 24 - US News
Where do the #MeToo accused go from here?.
America is entering the next phase in #MeToo: Where do the accused go from here? Last week Shaun White won a historic third...
Last US News - Opinion: How will Democrats handle their blue-collar blues?. NY Post 24 - US News
How will Democrats handle their blue-collar blues?.
Politico reports that Democrats aren’t keen on having Bill Clinton help out in this year’s campaigns, what with #MeToo...
Last US News - Opinion: Cuomo’s congestion-pricing baby steps. NY Post 24 - US News
Cuomo’s congestion-pricing baby steps.
Gov. Cuomo isn’t so much going ahead with a congestion-pricing plan for the city as he is laying the groundwork, which...

Living

US Living News: Court names wealthy man sole guardian of 13 surrogate children. NY Post 24 - US News
Court names wealthy man sole guardian of 13 surrogate children.
BANGKOK – A Thai court on Tuesday said it ruled in favor of a wealthy Japanese man who had fathered 13 surrogate children...
US Living News: Serious knee injuries increasing in kids and teens. NY Post 24 - US News
Serious knee injuries increasing in kids and teens.
Injuries to a critical ligament in the knee are becoming more common in children and teens, researchers warn. Injuries to...
US Living News: New York Times slammed for ‘sexy’ yoga pants article. NY Post 24 - US News
New York Times slammed for ‘sexy’ yoga pants article.
A New York Times opinion piece is getting ridiculed online for calling yoga pants “bad for women,” and championing for...
US Living News: Harlem Pizza Co. is opening new location. NY Post 24 - US News
Harlem Pizza Co. is opening new location.
Harlem is hot. The owners of Harlem Pizza Co. and Harlem Burger Co. are launching a third new location — Sliced by Harlem...
US Living News: The trendy herbal remedies to cure what ails you. NY Post 24 - US News
The trendy herbal remedies to cure what ails you.
Forget chalky powders and hard-to-swallow vitamins. The hottest way to get a dose of herbal medicine is in tincture form....
US Living News: These exercises will give you a bangin’ butt. NY Post 24 - US News
These exercises will give you a bangin’ butt.
When New York’s girl bosses want better butts, they go to Bec Donlan. The trainer has built a name for herself as a designer...
US Living News: This sleek-looking vape pen is hard to quit. NY Post 24 - US News
This sleek-looking vape pen is hard to quit.
In 2017, Thomas Wyatt, a film editor based in Bed Stuy, was smoking up to a pack of cigarettes daily. But when his girlfriend...
US Living News: Two-year-old boy’s leg crushed by airport escalator. NY Post 24 - US News
Two-year-old boy’s leg crushed by airport escalator.
A Canadian mother is warning others about the dangers of escalators after her 2-year-old son’s foot got caught in one at...

Business

Last US Business News: Wall Street isn’t sold on a CBS-Viacom merger. NY Post 24 - US News
Wall Street isn’t sold on a CBS-Viacom merger.
The media world may be buzzing about a potential CBS-Viacom merger, but Wall Street isn’t sold on the idea. Despite CBS’s...
Last US Business News: Shareholder lawsuit filed against Riot Blockchain. NY Post 24 - US News
Shareholder lawsuit filed against Riot Blockchain.
Riot Blockchain, the biotech company that in October morphed into a cryptocurrency outfit, may soon incur some shareholder...
Last US Business News: Chaos in Washington continues to worry Wall Street. NY Post 24 - US News
Chaos in Washington continues to worry Wall Street.
Stocks were up a bunch on Friday when the news came out that special counsel Robert Mueller had gotten an indictment against...
Last US Business News: Trump’s tax-cut growth gamble could backfire. NY Post 24 - US News
Trump’s tax-cut growth gamble could backfire.
There’s disappointing news coming out for President Trump, and it has nothing to do with the Russians or the revelations...
Last US Business News: Toy makers focus on grown-ups to boost sales. NY Post 24 - US News
Toy makers focus on grown-ups to boost sales.
The toy aisle is not just for kids anymore. Raunchy card games for adults and games aimed at teens and adults are among the...
Last US Business News: Anonymous bitcoin trader makes $400 million bet. NY Post 24 - US News
Anonymous bitcoin trader makes $400 million bet.
Go big or go home. That’s the motto of one mysterious investor who put his chips on the table, buying close to $400 million...
Last US Business News: What the cluck? KFC runs out of chicken. NY Post 24 - US News
What the cluck? KFC runs out of chicken.
What a fowl up! KFC has been forced to close most of its 900 outlets across the UK and Ireland — because it has run...
Last US Business News: Mercedes maker seen as using VW-like emissions tests. NY Post 24 - US News
Mercedes maker seen as using VW-like emissions tests.
US investigators probing Mercedes maker Daimler have found that its cars were equipped with software which may have helped...

Metro

Metro News: Cyclist fatally struck by hit-and-run driver at La Guardia. NY Post 24 - US News
Cyclist fatally struck by hit-and-run driver at La Guardia.
A man riding a bicycle was fatally struck by a hit-and-run driver at La Guardia Airport on Monday night, law enforcement...
Metro News: NY Dems were pushing stricter gun laws even before Florida massacre. NY Post 24 - US News
NY Dems were pushing stricter gun laws even before Florida massacre.
Even before the massacre in Florida, Democratic lawmakers in New York were pushing legislation that would allow judges to...
Metro News: Uber Eats driver punched, robbed in The Bronx. NY Post 24 - US News
Uber Eats driver punched, robbed in The Bronx.
A NYPD-officer wannabe working in The Bronx as an Uber Eats driver got a firsthand look at what it’s like to be a crime...
Metro News: The city still hasn’t selected a ‘nightlife mayor’. NY Post 24 - US News
The city still hasn’t selected a ‘nightlife mayor’.
New Yorkers are still in the dark over who will become the city’s first “nightlife mayor.” Mayor de Blasio announced...
Metro News: Unseasonably warm weather in NYC could be historic. NY Post 24 - US News
Unseasonably warm weather in NYC could be historic.
Put away the parka — and slip on some shorts and flip-flops! New York City will feel more like LA, at least for two days...
Metro News: This odd solution could make the L train shutdown less awful. NY Post 24 - US News
This odd solution could make the L train shutdown less awful.
A crew of engineers and real estate agents is hoping to convince the city of another option to mitigate the pending L-pocalypse...
Metro News: NYC giving away Dunkin’ coffee to get homeless into shelters. NY Post 24 - US News
NYC giving away Dunkin’ coffee to get homeless into shelters.
The Big Apple’s homeless now run on Dunkin’. The NYPD recently launched a program that uses hot cups of Dunkin’ Donuts...
Metro News: Cuomo challenger says tax plan is out of touch with reality. NY Post 24 - US News
Cuomo challenger says tax plan is out of touch with reality.
Gov. Cuomo’s proposal to change the state tax code to get around the loss of deductions under the new federal law is “the...

Sport

Last US Sport News: Slovenian hockey player tests positive for doping. NY Post 24 - US News
Slovenian hockey player tests positive for doping.
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — A Slovenian hockey player has become the third athlete to test positive for doping at the Pyeongchang...
Last US Sport News: US men’s hockey team staves off elimination with huge win. NY Post 24 - US News
US men’s hockey team staves off elimination with huge win.
The United States’ men’s hockey team beat Slovakia 5-1 in the qualification round at the Pyeongchang Olympics...
Last US Sport News: Knicks should drop Jarrett Jack — and that’s just the start. NY Post 24 - US News
Knicks should drop Jarrett Jack — and that’s just the start.
The Knicks return from the All-Star break to a Tuesday night practice in Tarrytown on familiar turf — playing for next...
Last US Sport News: Mickey Callaway out to prove he’s not just a pitchers’ manager. NY Post 24 - US News
Mickey Callaway out to prove he’s not just a pitchers’ manager.
PORT ST. LUCIE — From field to field Monday at the Mets’ spring-training complex, from station to station, Mickey Callaway...
Last US Sport News: TV mainstays give New York hoops fans reason to listen. NY Post 24 - US News
TV mainstays give New York hoops fans reason to listen.
The harsh truths about professional basketball at this time in this city are stark. Sometimes, it’s hard not to divert...