(Quartz at Work)
Traditional religion in the Bay Area is being replaced with another sort of faith, a belief in the power of technology and science to save humanity. It’s a creed that says poverty and disease are simply programming challenges yet to be solved, bad code to be debugged. There’s a reason technologists use words like “evangelist” and “mission” to talk about themselves and their work.
Farther out on the fringes is the belief in the technological singularity, the idea that artificial intelligence will evolve to a point where it surpasses human intelligence, resulting in a fundamental transformation of civilization. In some versions of the theory, people will merge with machines. Humans will become both obsolete and eternal.
For men and women immersed in the old-fashioned sort of religion, Silicon Valley’s faith in itself is a challenge. How can a religion based on ancient texts hope to compete with something as new and exciting—and sacrifice-free—as technology’s promise?