It’s not that complicated

Marks at MindMatters discusses the AI religion and overthinks the theology.

Silicon Valley’s religion isn’t really AI-based, it’s just a personality cult. The company founder is God. Some founders (eg Holmes) say the words explicitly, but the form is there whether explicit or not.

Older companies separated church and state. The boss was the emperor while you were on the clock, but the emperor didn’t own your soul the rest of the day, and the emperor didn’t claim to be the creator of the universe.

This total merging of emperor and god is a distinctly Oriental form of religion. It’s still strong in China and Japan and Korea.

Outside of the Orient, most religions have abstract gods. The Mediterranean tribes gave us the Abrahamic religions. Judaism and Islam are extremely strict about separating God from emperors and priests. Rome returned halfway, and then Protestants broke the bond again. Tbe old American tribes saw a more concrete God embedded in Nature, but again the chief was NOT the god.

The early founders of digital computing, from Hollerith to Minsky, were Protestant or Jewish. They never confused or conflated God with themselves or their machines.

The newer Oriental style started in the late ’70s with Jobs. I can’t trace a personal vector from China, though Chinese spies were starting to enter the industry at that time. A better hypothesis is that the Jobs generation of high-status hippies was strongly influenced by Mao. The Wokists are NOT Marxists or “cultural Marxists”, whatever that means. They are pure Maoists. Their belief system comes from the Little Red Book.

Well, how does AI enter the picture? Because the emperor-gods understand how AI really works. They understand that AI is not an independent thinker, it’s a passive reflection of the emperor’s defined constants and macros. AI does what the emperor wants, while appearing to be a pure machine. It’s mechanical Turks all the way down.


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Later and better thought about the origin of the emperor-god link among techies. There’s a strong genetic correlation between Number People and rigid obedience. Krauts are numerical and rigid. Most Orientals are strong in math skills and strong in rigid obedience. The tech world strongly selected numerical people, so it also selected emperor-worship.

See also Math rigor vs moral rigor. Non-numerical people have a better connection with universal morality. They follow tradition and reject commands that break tradition.