For the past year, Uber has been involved in more than a few legal battles, with one of the biggest being its ongoing conflict with Google over allegedly stolen self-driving car technology.
The central question at hand was whether Anthony Levandowski — the engineer who left Google’s self-driving arm Waymo to start his own self-driving truck initiative Otto, which was then acquired by Uber for $700 million — stole Google trade secrets and utilized them while at Uber.
In May — after Uber president Jeff Jones left his post after several months on the job, but before former CEO Travis Kalanick resigned — Levandowski was fired. According to The New York Times, he was relieved of his duties after he failed to meet a deadline to turn over pertinent legal information.
But that’s far from the end of Levandowski’s story, because it would appear that his interest in furthering autonomous tech isn’t just about the money, but about faith.
Levandowski is the CEO and president of a religious organization that he founded in 2015 called Way of the Future. According to documents filed with the state of California and obtained by Wired, Way of the Future’s mission is to “develop and promote the realization of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence.” And through the “worship of the Godhead, [to] contribute to the betterment of society.”
Which is to say that Levandowski probably isn’t as freaked out by the idea of machines taking over as let’s say, Elon Musk might be.
Just another day in Silicon Valley, right?