Our Father, Who art in Algorithm
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November 28, 2017
In this episode, we travel to a future where a tech mogul feeds a machine learning system all the religious texts he can find, and asks it to generate a “super religion.” Buckle up because this is a long episode! But it’s fun, I promise. For the intro of this episode I worked with Janelle Shane to actually train a machine learning algorithm on a big chunk of religious texts that I assembled, and spit something back out. The specifics of the texts and the machine learning algorithm come with a handful of caveats and notes, which you can find at the bottom of this post. Janelle has done of ton of really funny, interesting things with machine learning algorithms that you can find here. To analyze the text that this algorithm generated, and talk about the limitations of this kind of project, I spoke with a big group of people from a variety of backgrounds: Linda Griggs is an Episcopal priest and an assisting priest at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Providence Rhode Island. Lauren O’Neal and Niko Bakulich are…