With all of the hullabaloo surrounding Joe Biden’s inauguration, Trump’s last-minute pardons slipped below the RADAR a bit. Certain, Trump’s pardoning of Steve Bannon nabbed loads of headlines. And his snub of Joe Unique, the Tiger King, made the trades. However what’s arguably essentially the most attention-grabbing 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 considered a pioneer within the autonomous automobile 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, based on 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]

Ultimately 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 felony theft counts. However Levandowski won’t ever serve a day of that point as a result of the choose in his case decided he may wait till after the COVID pandemic to start his sentence.

A White Home assertion signifies Levandowski was pardoned because of the help of a number of notable figures within the expertise world, together with longtime Trump buddy Peter Thiel, a high-power investor and Fb board member related to what was once often called the “alt-right.”

The whole story is filled with excessive drama worthy of a Hollywood manufacturing. Shift’s Matthew Beedham wrote up a superb article overlaying all of the wild twists and turns, you’ll be able to learn it right here.

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

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

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

The thought behind his faith is that in the future — “not subsequent week or subsequent yr” — sufficiently superior synthetic intelligence will probably be smarter than people, and can successfully grow to be a god.

A part of it being smarter than us means it’s going to resolve the way it evolves, however a minimum of we will 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’d need this intelligence to say, ‘People ought to nonetheless have rights, though I’m in cost.

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

However now that the specter of imprisonment now not hangs over his head — most probably due to a selected high quality his collar, pores and skin, and the choose 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 certain we haven’t heard the final of Levandowski or his ridiculous church.

Printed January 21, 2021 — 21:58 UTC

By Rana

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