It’s gotta be satire, right? The “Way of the the Future Church” worshipped artificial idiocy. (Update #2)


  1. Originally published, February 23, 2021, 10:02 am.
  2. February 23, 2021, 11:57 am:


As of this morning the death toll from COVID-19 had passed 500,000, reaching 500,103.[1]

Artificial idiocy

This is satire, right? I had not been aware that Anthony Levandowski, who was the central figure in the dispute between Uber and Waymo over self-driving car technology, and who was pardoned by Donald Trump for stealing trade secrets from Waymo, had founded a church worshipping artificial intelligence idiocy. He dissolved it and donated its funds to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s Legal Defense and Education Fund.[2] I explain artificial idiocy in a blog post entitled, “Our new Satan: artificial idiocy and big data mining.” Everything I’ve heard and experienced, including that tangle with Twitter’s artificial idiots, since writing that post only reinforces it, however the technology is being used in combination with networking to impressive effect with traffic signals in the Pittsburgh area.[3]

But here’s the thing: A statistical approach that constitutes artificial idiocy[4] probably is the best that can be done to improve traffic flow. Controls here will never be perfect and the Wall Street Journal headline about eliminating traffic congestion[5] exaggerates. The downside is minimal: In a vast majority of cases, the statistical approach will yield a benefit. In the minority, the effect is unlikely to be worse than with uncoordinated signals. Nobody’s going to die waiting for a red light, certainly any more than they do now.

  1. [1]New York Times, “Coronavirus in the U.S.: Latest Map and Case Count,” February 23, 2021,
  2. [2]Anthony Levandowski, “The former Uber exec who was pardoned by Trump has closed his church that worshipped AI, donating its funds to the NAACP,” Business Insider, February 19, 2021,
  3. [3]Henry Williams, “Artificial Intelligence May Make Traffic Congestion a Thing of the Past,” Wall Street Journal, June 26, 2018,
  4. [4]David Benfell, “Our new Satan: artificial idiocy and big data mining,” Not Housebroken, February 20, 2021,
  5. [5]Henry Williams, “Artificial Intelligence May Make Traffic Congestion a Thing of the Past,” Wall Street Journal, June 26, 2018,

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