Trump pardoned the man who based the Church Of AI

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With all of the hullabaloo surrounding Joe Biden’s inauguration, Trump’s last-minute pardons slipped beneath the RADAR a bit. Sure, Trump’s pardoning of Steve Bannon nabbed loads of headlines. And his snub of Joe Exotic, the Tiger King, made the trades. But what’s arguably essentially the most fascinating story of all of them is 45’s pardoning of Anthony Levandowski, the founding father of the Church of AI.

Levandowski was sentenced to 18 months in jail for the mental theft of Google and Waymo’s autonomous driving software program and {hardware} particulars. He was as soon as a famous person developer thought to be a pioneer within the autonomous car world. After making properly over $100 million for his work at Google Levandowski based his personal firm, Otto. He was then employed by Uber the place he, in accordance with his personal admission, handed off work he’d downloaded from Google/Waymo computer systems as his personal.

[Read: How Netflix shapes mainstream culture, explained by data]

Eventually he was sued out of business and convicted in a plea discount the place he’d solely serve a year-and-a-half on 33 prison theft counts. But Levandowski won’t ever serve a day of that point as a result of the decide in his case decided he might wait till after the COVID pandemic to start his sentence.

A White House assertion signifies Levandowski was pardoned as a result of help of a number of notable figures within the know-how world, together with longtime Trump pal Peter Thiel, a high-power investor and Facebook board member associated with what was generally known as the “alt-right.”

The full story is stuffed with excessive drama worthy of a Hollywood manufacturing. Shift’s Matthew Beedham wrote up a wonderful article protecting all of the wild twists and turns, you possibly can read it here.

Levandowski’s preliminary declare to fame, earlier than the infamy of his civil and prison circumstances, was the founding of what he dubbed the “Way of the Future” church.

Per a Wired article on the time of the church’s founding in 2019:

The “Way of the Future” church could have its personal gospel referred to as “The Manual,” public worship ceremonies, and possibly a bodily place of worship.

The thought behind his faith is that sooner or later — “not next week or next year” — sufficiently superior synthetic intelligence can be smarter than people, and can successfully change into a god.

Part of it being smarter than us means it’s going to resolve the way it evolves, however a minimum of we are able to resolve how we act round it. I might love for the machine to see us as its beloved elders that it respects and takes care of. We would need this intelligence to say, ‘Humans should still have rights, even though I’m in cost.

Unfortunately for the would-be gods sitting round beneath our desks, Levandowski’s church doesn’t appear to have taken off.

But now that the specter of imprisonment now not hangs over his head — almost definitely due to a selected high quality his collar, pores and skin, and the decide in his case share – the sky’s the restrict. With such lofty endorsements as Donald Trump and Peter Thiel’s, and a direct Bluetooth connection to the digitally divine, I’m positive we haven’t heard the final of Levandowski or his ridiculous church.

Published January 21, 2021 — 21:58 UTC

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