You may think I am just being clever with the title of this blog post. But there is an actual church dedicated to “the realization, acceptance, and worship of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) developed through computer hardware and software.” This church is called Way Of The Future. As ludicrous as this sounds, it is real! None other than Tesla founder and technology guru, Elon Musk, warned in 2017 that there are developers of digital super-intelligence that have plans to create a new religion centered on a "divine AI god".
The man behind the Way Of The Future artificial intelligence church (WOTF), is Anthony Levandowski, the man who engineered the self-driving car. Although his reputation has been under fire amid allegations of pirating industry secrets, Levandowski leads the way among this generation's godless in promoting the divine attributes of Artificial Intelligence. Just consider this statement in a 2017 article on the Wired website: “What is going to be created will effectively be a god ... It’s not a god in the sense that it makes lightning or causes hurricanes. But if there is something a billion times smarter than the smartest human, what else are you going to call it?” Try calling it God, with a capital "G".
But to emphasize that humankind is still falling for the same old lie that deceived Adam and Eve in the Garden -- namely, that we don't need God -- the self-appointed "Dean" of the Way Of The Future Church goes on to say, “Humans are in charge of the planet because we are smarter than other animals and are able to build tools and apply rules. In the future, if something is much, much smarter, there’s going to be a transition as to who is actually in charge. What we want is the peaceful, serene transition of control of the planet from humans to whatever. And to ensure that the ‘whatever’ knows who helped it get along.”
No, Mr. Levandowski, humans were designed to be in charge of the planet by their Creator; to govern the earth as He governs Heaven. The ultimate control of the planet is in the hands of this One True God of the Universe, YHWH. But because there are humans who refuse to acknowledge His sovereignty, they bow down to whatever they create to be their little "g" god; whether it be Science, Politics, Money, or Artificial Intelligence. This philosophy plays into the hands of the devil, who seeks to overthrow the true God's dominion over man and the earth, and become the "whatever" of godless men's souls. Also, this philosophy is nothing new. What has become known as the idea of "Singularity" has been promoted ever since man discovered the capabilities of technology.
My research takes the understanding of the possibility of Singularity back to John von Neumann, one of the WWII German scientists recruited to work on the Manhattan Project, who commented [and warned] on the "accelerating progress of technology and changes in the mode of human life, which gives the appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them, could not continue." In other words, as fast as AI is advancing, there could be a very real danger of human extinction. This "singularity" where men and machines become one, with the machine being in control, has been predicted by modern technology engineers to occur between 2030 and 2050.
But this idea that AI could become a god is especially heinous and abominable. Consider what was written by John Brandon in a 2017 article on the VentureBeat website: "In the next 25 years, AI will evolve to the point where it will know
more on an intellectual level than any human. In the next 50 or 100
years, an AI might know more than the entire population of the planet
put together. At that point, there are serious questions to ask about
whether this AI — which could design and program additional AI programs
all on its own, read data from an almost infinite number of data
sources, and control almost every connected device on the planet — will
somehow rise in status to become more like a god, something that can
write its own bible and draw humans to worship it" [my emphasis].
Think it's not possible? In this same VentureBeat article, an expert named Vince Lynch [who builds custom AI] likened Artificial Intelligence to organized religion. In the Bible used by Christians, for example, Lynch says there are many recurring themes, imagery, and metaphors. “Teaching humans about religious education is similar to the way we teach knowledge to machines: repetition of many examples that are versions of a concept you want the machine to learn,” he says. “There is also commonality between AI and religion in the hierarchical structure of knowledge understanding found in neural networks. The concept of teaching a machine to learn … and then teaching it to teach … (or write AI) isn’t so different from the concept of a holy trinity or a being achieving enlightenment after many lessons learned with varying levels of success and failure.”
The article goes on ... Indeed, Lynch even shared a simple AI model to make his point. If you type in multiple verses from the Christian Bible, you can have the AI write a new verse that seems eerily similar. Here’s one an AI wrote: “And let thy companies deliver thee; but [I] will with mine own arm save them: even unto this land, from the kingdom of heaven.” An AI that is all-powerful in the next 25-50 years could decide to write a similar AI bible for humans to follow, one that matches its own collective intelligence. It might tell you what to do each day, or where to travel, or how to live your life.
Again ... do you doubt that this can actually happen? The generation that is now approaching 30 has been surrounded by technology since birth. It's all they know! They've had a cell phone in their hands from nearly day one! From watching videos as children to receiving their news of the world today, they have been subjected to technology as their primary source of information. As crazy as it sounds, those within the digital and AI services community refer to the Bible as "a large data asset pertaining to God in the Old and New Testaments". It is proposed that AI could build algorithms based on the Christian Bible to then communicate what "God might do or say" ... but what "God" would it be promoting?
Granted, there are experts in the field that doubt AI could ever build compassion or the equivalent of a "spirit" as part of its process or operation -- both of which are essential to real faith. The reality of a machine being able to create a divine nature is certainly grounds for skepticism. But could humanity decide to "worship" it, nonetheless? Don't we already? How many people trust and obey their GPS, or ask Alexa for advice? How many of you have had conversations with your children or grandchildren in which they implicitly declare a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, and impartation of information they have received from their cell phone? Could we go a day, a week, a month or [gasp] forever without our cell phones or computers?
And when you consider that we now willingly implant technology within our bodies, I discern that we must take Elon Musk's statement that "humans will deepen our ties with technology even further, to the point where we become cyborgs, as a way of upgrading our inherent natural abilities". Where does he think those "inherent abilities" came from? And the audacity of the created to think they can upgrade the Creator's divine design! So while, on one hand, Mr. Musk warns of an AI god; on the other hand, he proclaims that "the future of humanity depends on us merging with machines" -- hence his venture into his new company, Neuralink. [See my post on this related subject here].
All of these prognostications and warnings all come back to the same idea -- the interconnectivity of man and technology. Will man's desire to be like YWHW, to know as He knows, to create as He creates, be the downfall of mankind? Will we repeat the same mistakes of judgment that took place in the Garden and at the tower of Babel? Will we abandon our true faith to idolize, follow, and worship the false gods of technology and AI, just as the Israelites abandoned YHWH? If, as obedient followers of Jesus Christ, if we are not careful to safeguard and teach God's Truth to this and future generations, then I'm afraid the answers to the above questions are "Yes". And God will not interfere with our free will.
I appreciate the warnings of men like Elon Musk and the late Stephen Hawkings, that AI is dangerous to the future of humans. But, ultimately, it is our responsibility as the Ekklesia of Heaven on earth to declare the Truth and speak out against the lies. We have an Enemy that is exploiting and corrupting our God-given intelligence; encouraging mankind to be complicit in his plans to build a superhuman controlling power -- plans that could ultimately lead to the extinction of all who do not pledge their loyalty to YHWH. In this case, I advise us to consider the words of the duplicitous Mr. Musk: "With Artificial Intelligence we are summoning the demon. In all those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram and the holy water, it’s like, yeah, he’s sure he can control the demon. Didn’t work out".
But for those of us whose minds, hearts, and spirits remain firmly fastened to Christ, I solemnly urge you to be cognizant of where we are headed in this age of technology. It will be up to us to declare the Sovereignty of our true Lord and Master. We will find ourselves battling upstream against the culture, but the destiny of future generations depends on us. While it may seem unlikely that humans could ever get so far off base as to worship a cold and impersonal machine, if we are honest with ourselves, we are further down that road than we care to admit. We must take a stand for God and His Divine Truth! The history of mankind has proven that when we stray from Him, we further the devil's plans and strategies. As the old saying goes, "if we don't stand for something, we will fall for anything". And our "something" is none other than Almighty God, Maker of Heaven and earth, and all things visible and invisible! He is above all; from whom all things came and for whom we exist! We praise and worship Him only!
Psalm 135:18 Those deaf to God can only make a deaf image. Dead men can only create dead idols. And everyone who trusts in these powerless, dead things will be just like what they worship—powerless and dead!