The former Uber exec who was pardoned by Trump has closed his church that worshipped AI, donating its funds to the NAACP

  • Anthony Levandowski, a former Uber and Google employee, dissolved a church he founded and dedicated to artificial intelligence.
  • The engineer had been convicted of stealing trade secrets, but received a pardon from Donald Trump.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Anthony Levandowski, a former Google engineer and founder of the tech company’s self-driving car project Waymo, has closed his AI-focused church and donated its holdings to the NAACP, according to reporting from TechCrunch. 

Levandowski also made headlines last month for grabbing one of Donald Trump’s presidential pardons for his role in a trade secret battle between Google and Uber.  

Now, according to TechCrunch, Levandowski has closed his Way of the the Future church, which worshiped artificial intelligence, and donated the entirety of its funds— $175,172—to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. 

Levandowski did not give TechCrunch a reason for closing the church, which had no physical location, but said he had been considering the move for a while.

After the summer’s Black Lives Matter protests and a nationwide reckoning on racial justice, Levandowski wanted to support the NAACP’s “really important work in criminal justice reform,” TechCrunch reported.

Levandowski left Waymo in January 2016 to set up a trucking-focused startup, Otto. A few months later, Uber acquired the firm. Waymo alleged that the ride-hailing giant set up the deal with Levandowski so it could use Google IP to accelerate its self-driving research.

Levandowski had been found guilty and sentenced to 18 months in jail until Trump waived his punishment in a spate of pardons that also included rapper Lil Wayne.

 

Axel Springer, Insider Inc.’s parent company, is an investor in Uber.

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