Anthony Levandowski is best known as the self-driving car engineer at the center of the Waymo vs. Uber trade-secret controversy. But he has another, more unlikely profession you probably haven't heard associated with him: church founder.
A Wired profile of Levandowski revealed that the man accused of stealing self-driving car trade secrets from Waymo has started his own church. He recently filed paperwork to create "Way of the Future," a religious organization based on "the realization of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence," according to Wired.
Some scholars and tech-industry personalities, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk, believe the development of artificial intelligence could lead to machines that are smarter than humans, and possibly a Matrix-like threat to human civilization. But Levandowski apparently believes the rise of a superior artificial intelligence will be a good thing, and plans to spread that gospel.
Way of the Future has not submitted a request for tax-exempt status to the IRS, but it has submitted documents to the state of California declaring it a religious organization. The documents name Levandowski as president and CEO.
It's unclear how much time Levandowski will have to build his flock, though. While he is pleading the Fifth Amendment in Waymo's lawsuit against Uber, and was also fired from the ride-sharing company for not cooperating in its defense, the judge overseeing the case has ruled that Levandowski can be called to testify under certain circumstances.
Waymo accuses Levandowski of stealing files while he worked at the branch of Alphabet. He left to form self-driving truck startup Otto, which was bought by Uber last year. Way claims Levandowski gave the files to Uber so the company could use the information in its own self-driving car program. Uber, however, denies these charges. If Waymo wins its case against Uber, Levandowski will likely need some divine help.