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Artificial intelligence: Silicon Valley’s new deity

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Silicon Valley is a place obsessed with the future, but often forgetful about the past. Earlier this year, one of the Valley’s most controversial techies took this future-worship to the next level — by founding a religion called Way of the Future. Its purpose is to “develop and promote the realisation of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence”, according to public documents that were first reported by Wired magazine.

This is the stuff of science fiction, except that people here actually take it seriously.

The founder of Way of the Future is Anthony Levandowski, the notorious engineer at the centre of a lawsuit between Alphabet’s autonomous car unit, Waymo, and Uber. In the case, which has riveted Silicon Valley, Waymo accuses Levandowski, a former employee, of stealing trade secrets related to self-driving sensors and taking them to Uber. (He has asserted his Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination in the case.) No verdict has yet been reached but, in short, Levandowski is not exactly looking like a saint.

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