Is God a Master algorithm?

Spadaro is of the idea that the “’googlization’ of the faith is impossible because it is false.”[1] I guess Spadaro here is still thinking with a Web 1.0 mind-set, and lacks to see the power of social media, especially adults aged 18-34, of whom 95% would be following brands via social networking. It is true that over 60% of the people double check before buying through a Google search, but it is the active visible social presence of a brand which influences the relevancy of the message.[2] I read his analysis of Google as still being the search engine giant, rather than focusing on Google as the big-data giant it is.

He also speaks about the Wolfram search engine. The stark difference is that the latter computes answers to your query. While search engines are coming up with more efficient ways to answer simple math queries, what Wolfram exemplifies is the not-so-distant-future: where data gets computed as it is searched. Join the big-data of Google with Wolfram’s idea of computing searches, and Web 3.0 might never make it without being merged into Web 4.0 straight away. Projects like A.L.I.C.E and Cleverbot are already offering a public taste of what we are to experience, even though I would say they are at a pre-alpha stage.

I read Spadaro’s analysis of Google as still being the search engine giant, rather than focusing on Google as the big-data giant it is

The likes of Kurzweil go a bit further by claiming that once AIs reach a true “silicon intelligence” in a singular fashion, and man transcends “biological transcendence,” we meet a new and complete God.[3] He furthers that “the desire to transcend biology and the fear of losing it are two sides of the same coin – a coin that will land regardless of how many times he tries to flip it.”[4] If by faith we forget the experiential dimension, and keep it to reasoning, we might end up in the pursuit of the “Search for the God Algorithm.” A single universal learning algorithm is envisaged to answer this search, the singularity paradigm. Domingo’s book speaks of an algorithm of curing cancer, eliminating all jobs – freeing everyone to enjoy a life of leisure (note: not re-creation) and invent anything inventible.[5]

The Master algorithm would approach the great God-question by combining the five types of machine learning, thus eliminating the drawbacks of each:  Symbolist algorithms learn through inverse deduction and encoding ideas from formal logic, thus excelling in maths; Bayesian specialise in modelling uncertainty thus distinguish themselves in probalistic environments; Connectionist algorithms through reverse-engineering the brain, excel in neural networks and feedback loops; Evolutionaries’ techniques based on genetic programming, evolve the algorithm to be fit for a given task; and Analogizers specialise in categorising based on similarities.[6] The God-algorithm would excel in all five areas. He goes further as to call scientists working on such an algorithm, as priests heralding the coming of this new deity.[7]


[1] Antonio Spadaro, Cybertheology: Thinking Christianity in the Era of the Internet, 2014, doi:10.5422/fordham/9780823256990.001.0001.

[2] ‘Traffic Jam: SEO vs Social Media Marketing’, Web Confs, 2017,

[3] Derek Beres, ‘Who Doesn’t Want to Live Forever? The Cult of Singularity | Big Think’, Big Think, 2016.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Nick Romeo, ‘The Search for the God Algorithm’, Daily Beast, October 2015.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

Matthew is a Masters graduate in Informatics and is currently reading a Bachelor’s Degree in Sacred Theology. He has a strong interest in merging the tech field, particularly Artificial Intelligence and Social Media, with theology. He is also in his sixth year of formation at the Archbishop’s Seminary.

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