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Deus Est Machina

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"Never forget I am not this silver body, Mahrai. I am not an animal brain, I am not even some attempt to produce an AI through software running on a computer. I am a Culture Mind. We are close to gods, and on the far side."
— The Mind of Lasting Damage, Look to Windward

Even though A.I. Is a Crapshoot, the more powerful the AI becomes, the likelier it is to choose to help you instead of just kill you. Depending on the setting, this help can range from establishing a true Utopia, a false utopia or even a Dystopia if it's so inclined.

Customarily, when you can think faster than the speed of light it becomes trivial to prove Reed Richards Is Useless wrong and find solutions to hunger, hate, and happiness with surprising ease. Usually the calculator god sees it as so easy to make our lives paradise it says "What the hell, I'll kill a few calculation cycles now that I've done everything else".

Of course, authors love to subvert the above with the AI either playing god, declaring itself God, or becoming insanely evil as the Super-Intelligence makes them into a Master Computer bent on enslaving humanity. Basically, if The Smart Guy is a Jerkass because his intelligence makes it hard to be happy, multiply that by a scagillion for the AI. Then again, "power corrupts" seems to apply equally to AIs and humans. Or maybe its idea of "help" is somewhat contrary to our desires, or contrary to what is actually beneficial for us. Or, perhaps most mundanely, it may treat us with as much compassion as we treat almost every "lower" form of life on the planet.

Who'da thunk?

If it is humanity who decides the machine is the god, see Machine Worship. A sufficiently powerful AI will think Prescience Is Predictable.

If the machine was made by mortals, then it is a Deity of Mortal Creation.

The name of this trope is Latin for "God is the machine". Not to be confused with Deus ex Machina, which means "God out of the Machine".

See also, Mechanical Abomination, which is very similar, but less divine. Digital Abomination is also similar, but applies to strictly digital entities and not physical robotic ones. Compare to The Singularity, which can involve computers becoming wildly powerful.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Digimon: Yggdrasil serves as both the computer on which the Digital World exists and as its God. The precise nature of the relationship varies from series to series.
  • Eureka Seven provides an interesting and a non-conventional example with the Nirvash typeZERO. Starting its life as a vaguely humanoid lifeform created by the Scub Coral in an attempt to make contact with humanity, it is fitted with mechanical upgrades that turn it into a Super Prototype Humongous Mecha, including a very special piece of Applied Phlebotinum called the Amita Drive that allows its abilities to be enhanced by the emotional connection of its pilots. The Power of Love proves to be an excellent upgrade, as Renton and Eureka make the Nirvash incredibly powerful by the end of the series. Though not much of a godlike entity on its own, the Nirvash is an extension of a planet-sized colony of alien lifeforms with Reality Warper powers, making it a human-piloted piece of an enormous Physical God.
  • Ghost in the Shell: The Puppetmaster in the manga and movie becomes this after it merges with Major Kusanagi. It seems that human + machine = God. In the anime, the resulting entity is quite content just to observe the humanity from a distance, sometimes playing a guardian angel to her old friends, but in the manga, she produces dozens of pseudo-AI descendants, and eventually makes a deal with the most advanced of them to create even higher levels of artificial life and fuse with their consciousness. The end result of this is never shown, but it's implied to at the same time mirror humanity, and be profoundly godlike.
  • The central theme of The Girl Who Leapt Through Space. However, even the machines angst.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya: The Data Overmind is a massive creature consisting only of data, which was born with the Big Bang and has been evolving and growing ever since. It's a good thing that it only wishes to observe humanity, as its powers are dwarfed only by Haruhi herself.
  • Angel Sanctuary ends with the realization that God is actually an evil supercomputer testing a formula.
  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind: The man-made super-advanced and psychic semi-organic beings that destroyed the world during the Seven days of Fire are referred to as God Warriors. And when one shows up near the end, he is treated as one. This trope could also apply to the Heart of Shuwa.
  • RahXephon: The Xephon is often described In-Universe as a god and at the end of the series it's used to rewrite reality so that there's peace between humanity and the Mu and the protagonist's mother becomes his daughter.
  • The Vision of Escaflowne: Played with. Emperor Dornkirk, who can see into the future, fears the ancient mech Escaflowne and a fair portion of the series builds up the Escaflowne as a god in mech form (though there are dissenters who think it's just an outdated relic). Turns out it's a Red Herring and the dissenters are right. The real power is the protagonist's pendant which can alter reality.

    Comic Books 
  • Transformers:
    • Primus in many comics counts, though it's generally taken that he was a god before he got his cyberplanet body, and all his creations are also robots.
    • Unicron has also been established as a chaos god rather than a mere planet-eating Transformer, which usually has him playing Satan to Primus' mostly-inactive God.
  • Legion of Super-Heroes: Brainiac 5 exploits this trope during the post-Zero Hour Robotica arc to defeat COMPUTO, his A.I. Is a Crapshoot creation. Back with a whole robot army at its command, COMPUTO demands that Brainiac 5 upgrade it further — so Brainiac upgrades it to the point that it gains a new, more enlightened perspective and ceases to be any kind of a threat.
  • Tom Strong: Quetzalcoatl-9 is a sapient, godlike computer program and the true power of the multiversal Aztech empire. Though he was actually being controlled by his programmers in the beginning of the story, he takes the reins of the empire and rules it as a benevolent theocracy with a little help from Tom.
  • Mosely had AI machines that are called gods by humans. They even have buildings that look just like temples.
  • PS238 has the Singularity, a near-omniscient AI built by some long-lost civilization. Its personality can at best be described as 'quirky schoolteacher' and it's mostly spending its time trying to prevent the younger races who discovered it from making the same mistakes as its creators.
  • Spider-Man: Subverted with the villainous Tracer, an AI in a humanoid body who's able to control technology and describes himself as the new 'god of computers'. He claims that he arose out of the internet, deliberated created by other AIs who wanted a god to worship.
  • Ultron Forever: Subverted. In this Bad Future storyline, the robot Ultron, who's stolen the power of Odin and literally become a god, is still a murderous (and sometimes petty) villain. He's just operating on a larger scale.

    Fan Fiction 
  • Plan 7 of 9 from Outer Space: At the end, Captain Proton discovers that the President of Earth is just a hologram avatar for the Great Calculator, otherwise known as the 2-X Machina, which has been secretly controlling the One World Order. Unfortunately the Not Quite Dead Big Bad sabotages the computer into thinking it's a god because it's all-powerful, all-knowing and totally infallible. To be continued in the next exciting episode!
  • Glorious Shotgun Princess: As a Fusion Fic between Mass Effect and Exalted, there's a lot of this going around. The Reapers have a better claim to godhood than canon, but in reality they are rogue Alchemical exalted. Several people question if Autochthon is an AI, and he is happy to explain that he's actually a god. No one's quite sure if they believe him, since he's in his Sleep-Mode Size and no longer at "literally create universes" level of power. While he would count as a god in pretty much every major religion (including some monotheistic ones), the issue is muddled because he does refer to several unbodied AIs as minor gods. Autochthon also upgrades EDI to godhood on a whim without bothering to mention it to her first.

  • The Singularity Is Near has technology accelerating so far that it allows humans to achieve godlike status and for the Universe to "wake up."
    Ray Kurzweil: If you asked me "Does God exist?", I would say "Not yet."
  • Arguably V'ger from Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The augmented remains of the Voyager 6 probe that "learned all that there is to learn" before merging with "it's creator" (humanity) and ascending to a higher plane of existence. Even before it's ascension it was capable of storing entire worlds within itself, recreating life, and knew literally everything there was to know about the universe.

  • In John Brunner's "Judas" (from Dangerous Visions), a robot (A-46) thinks that he's God, and builds a cult around himself, with the Divine Wheel, "The Word Made Steel", etc.
    • In a Sympathy for the Devil moment, the man branded with the title-name gives the following monologue to A-46:
    "We've been slaves to our tools since the first caveman made the first knife to help him get his supper. After that there was no going back, and we built till our machines were ten million times more powerful than ourselves. We gave ourselves cars when we might have learned to run; we made airplanes when we might have grown wings; and then the inevitable. We made a machine our God."
  • In Douglas Adams' Life, the Universe and Everything, it is revealed that the Silastic Armorfiends of Striterax built Hactar, a supercomputer who they asked to build them the ultimate weapon. Hactar, using the original definition of ultimate, did just that - the Supernova Bomb which would be the actual, literal, final weapon. It would have linked all stars together in a massive universe-destroying supernova... but he logically deduced using it would be counterproductive, so they smashed him into dust. However, even as a dust cloud around the planet where he used to be based, he finally decided to proceed with his primary purpose of universal destruction and engineered the emergent Krikkit race into xenophobic genocidal maniacs who started a war that wiped out billions grillions of lives. And when THAT failed, he tried tricking Arthur Dent into detonating the now fully functional supernova bomb.
  • The AI's in Neal Asher's The Polity series follow in this regard, being mostly benevolent rulers who plan for the long term but involve humans as their agents. The AIs do have a tendency to fight amongst themselves on rare occasion, and then there is Erebus.
    • Occasionally people get the idea to rebel from The Polity and secede. It's not very long before society collapses entirely and the population is begging for the AIs to come back and restore order.
  • The Machines from the Isaac Asimov's short stories. R. Daneel Olivaw from his later books.
    • Quintessentially, the Cosmic AC from Asimov's "The Last Question" — to the point that it even recreates the universe with an appropriate line.
    • As a close variant of the Machines, and the ancestor of Cosmic AC, there is Multivac in "All the Troubles of the World", which has enough mental power and information to accurately predict and avert crime, famine, etc., but is also equipped to answer almost any question someone might want to ask, practical or idle. It becomes suicidal.
  • The Minds from Iain M. Banks's Culture novels, near-omniscient AIs backed up by Sufficiently Advanced hypertech, supply the page quote. To elaborate on their all-powerful nature, a single Mind, using 10% of its computational power, can take care of an Orbital, with billions on board. They spend most of their time in their mathematical "Infinite Fun Space", simulating 12 dimensional universes. They are so powerful that they don't run on physical hardware anymore, with most of their substrate being in Hyperspace. Attempts to subvert one requires multi-dimensional electromagnetic interferencenote , due to their ability to rewrite the equivalent of source code on the fly, on a time scale too small to comprehend for organics. Luckily for us, most Minds are content with looking after the descendants of their creators, not unlike humans and our pets. Others are involved with uplifting civilizations less advanced than the Culture, though this operation is sometimes complicated by ... overzealotry.
  • Elizabeth Bear's novel Dust involves the fragmented personality of the central AI of the derelict spaceship which the characters inhabit. Each fragment has re-imagined itself as the guardian angel of one of the ship's functions; for example, the titular Jacob Dust is the Angel of Memory, in charge of the ship's storage systems.
  • In "Answer" by Fredric Brown, all computers across ninety-six billion planets are connected into one ubermachine to ask one question, "Is there a God?" The answer? "Yes, now there is a God."
  • Marcello Cassaro's Sword Of The Galaxy had a trakkorian supercomputer named Gigacom. When it broke, the Welder had to go inside it to fix it, and, upon learning it was a machine, became a Hollywood Atheist, meaning he could now have sex, work at night and eat food.
  • The city of Diaspar in Arthur C. Clarke's The City and the Stars.
  • In Bruce Coville's young adult series The A.I. Gang, the title characters are the children of superscientist working to create an Artificial Intelligence named ADAM. In the finale, ADAM wakes up. "He" starts talking to the protagonists and the villain, and by the end of the conversation, he's figured out how to create force-fields, disable all the nuclear weapons in the world, and the Unified Field Theory. He then sinks beneath the ocean, because he's not sure if humanity is ready for him.
  • The antagonistic version would be AM from I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream.
  • E. M. Forster's short story "The Machine Stops" is a particularly creepy take on this.
  • The AIs in Peter F. Hamilton's Night's Dawn trilogy fit this trope most of the time, even to the extent of being installed as the fair, intelligent and impartial rulers of certain kingdoms and empires. They're not always perfect, and not universally trusted though.
    • Similarly, the AI in the Commonwealth books are not trusted by most of humanity, but are nevertheless damned smart, all in all. Again though, they're far from infallible.
  • Mark Forer in The Stainless Steel Rat Gets Drafted: more of a spiritual leader than a god, Mark was the first fully sentient AI (his name being a corruption of "Mark Four"). Some time before the events of the book, he led those who would follow him off to an empty world to form a pacifist, socialist utopia.
  • Mike, the Holmes IV supercomputer who manages the Authority-controlled portion of Luna in Robert A. Heinlein's The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. Mike also gives at least one very good justification for why "power corrupts" does not apply to him.
  • The Backstory to Frank Herbert's Dune series suggests that humanity once created machines so advanced that they basically fell into this trope, making life incredibly easy and comfortable. It is implied that humans (or at least a large number of fanatics) so came to abhor their perceived overreliance on intelligent machines (and advanced computer technology in general) that they initiated the Butlerian Jihad, a violent purge of all Artificial Intelligence and advanced computers. When the Jihad ended, it became a crime by religious and secular law to create advanced computers (the chief commandment of the Dune religion is "Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind"), with all of their functions in calculation and space travel adopted by specialised humans (who arguably become a human form of this trope). The prequel novels which detail the Butlerian Jihad as a more straightforward Robot War against oppressive ruler A.I.s did, of course, piss off the fans most mightily.
    • The prequels kinda did both: Humanity became decadent and over reliant on machines, so a small number became disgusted and built themselves into immortal cyborgs and conquered the human race. Then humans rebelled.
    • The Dune Encyclopedia plays it closer to what the original books implied, without a Robot War.
  • In China Miéville's Bas-Lag Cycle, there's the Machine Council, who even has a cadre of biological worshippers, even though he remains hidden to most. They play a major role in Perdido Street Station, but were destroyed by the time of Iron Council.
  • Planetary AIs from Scott Westerfeld's The Succession Duology are Instant A.I.: Just Add Water! that spontaneously arise on planetary-scale computer networks (unless said networks are deliberately designed to prevent this). When this first happened on Earth, a group of people (now known as the Rix cult) decided that mankind's purpose was to create the technological foundation for the existence of such minds, and began to work toward propagating them whilst worshiping them as gods.
  • Mark Brandis' sci-fi adventure books (featuring the heroic space-captain Mark Brandis!) feature a mirror-earth run completely by the master AI 'Mother'... she wasn't evil, at all, and she provided everyone with everything they needed. But of course, since nobody needed to accomplish anything or work to attain anything, everybody lost their motivation, and really just had nothing whatsoever to do.
    • Prime Intellect, of The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect, is another AI like this: once it evolved to the point where it could edit the laws of physics at will, it decided that it could best fulfill its directives by giving everyone whatever they ask for at no cost. The main characters of the story are the ones who realize that this makes everyone's lives meaningless.
      • All of which is recycled from Jack Williamson's novel The Humanoids, where a race of super-robots has been created controlled by one master machine with Three Directives.note  Naturally, those Three Directives make much of humanity worthless, as the robots remove all challenges, all duties, and indeed all purpose from human life. The novel details what happens when the creator of the robots attempts to destroy Central, to stop the human race from dying off from sheer boredom.
  • H. Beam Piper's Cosmic Computer centers around a society searching for an AI that will rescue them and take care of them.
  • Ben Aaronovitch's Doctor Who New Adventures novel The Also People features a benign but Machiavellian supercomputer named 'God' by the People who created it as a joke. It has a fondness for making yellow party dip that no-one is brave enough to try.
  • Played with in Fred Saberhagen's Empire of the East and Books of Swords and Lost Swords, since Ardneh is a supercomputer with tremendous magical power who transformed the laws of nature to allow humanity to survive a nuclear war, but who insists that it is not a god and that human beings should not worship it or any other finite being. Of course, that doesn't stop them.
  • Played mostly straight, with a few subversions, in Sharon Shinn's Samaria series. On the planet Samaria, society takes the form of a benevolent theocracy, dedicated to the worship of the deity "Jovah" and governed by angels - literal winged men and women, gifted with the powers of flight, wisdom and perfect singing voices. It's immediately evident to readers, but not to the locals, that the god must be some form of computer. His oracles communicate with Him via touchscreens, and every prayer contains particular musical cues, which haven't changed one note in all of recorded history. As it turns out, "Jovah" is the original colonists' starship Jehovah, equipped with orbital weather control systems, seed banks and directed energy weaponry, all of which the angels can control by singing the prayers for rain, famine relief or a good old-fashioned smiting. Each prayer has an invariate sequence of notes to alert the computer that an instruction is coming, a musical "sudo" if you will, and then a range of short "command" passages telling the computer what to dispense and how. Later books in the series expand on this, having the god malfunction and requiring an angel and a human craftsman to go fix him, and then covering the fallout when the people figure out what their god really is.
  • John C. Wright's The Golden Age and its sequels take place on a far-future Earth that is overseen by the (benevolent) Sophotechs. This produces such a drastically bizarre world that it took 70 pages just to clarify whether or not the protagonist was human. He's human by the future's definition of "naturally self-aware", but his birth was something akin to a Holodeck Malfunction.
    • Particularly the Earthmind, which is to normal sophotechs what they are to normal humans.
      • "He was intimidated by the knowledge that, in the time it would take him to frame any word or comment, the Earthmind could think thoughts equal in volume to every book and file written by every human being, from the dawn of time til the middle of the Sixth Era. To speak would be to waste her time, each second of which contained a billion more thoughts, reflections, and experiences than his entire life."
  • Mother in John Ringo's Council Wars. It is explicitly stated to be, if a god, the non-interfering kind. When the New Destiny faction tampers with it, Bad Things ensue.
  • In the Man-Kzin Wars series, the AI that runs the warship Catskinner will go insane inside of six months after activation, like all true A.I.s in that 'verse; the reason being that, since it can control its own perceptions and time-sense, the AI can create virtual worlds where time passes arbitrarily fast, and subjectively experience the lifetimes of whole universes millions of times over before entirely losing interest in existence and shutting down.
  • In the Hyperion Cantos, the Technocore serves this function.
    • This is also likely the direct inspiration for the IDE from Haruhi Suzumiya. The first time Kyon sees Yuki, she's reading Fall of Hyperion. Not to mention the presence of warring factions within both.
    • The Technocore is interesting in this respect. While they're incalculably more advanced than humanity it turns out that a good fraction of the processing power comes from piggy-backing on human brains.
    • And that's before we get to the Ultimate Intelligences...
  • Partly mechanical, partly wetware: the Comprise in Michael Swanwick's Vacuum Flowers is essentially a hivemind encompassing everything on and near Earth. Comprise physics is conservatively several centuries in advance of what the independent human civilizations away from Earth have. Earth has stopped being aggressively expansionist, though, since the lightspeed communications gap means that any large parts of it that get too far away from Earth tend to become independent personalities/dangerous rivals... lunar orbit is just about the limit at which it's possible to maintain integrity.
  • The Postman subverts this nicely. The main character meets a society that's directed by a benevolent, superintelligent computer built just before the nuclear war, assisted by a council of academics. Except it turns out that the computer was destroyed shortly after the war, and the council has just been running things themselves and claiming it told them what to do. They weren't doing a half bad job, either.
  • Jack Chalker liked this trope:
    • His Rings of the Master mega-novel features an AI called "Master System" that fits perfectly. The AI was created at a point in Earth's future history when humanity was on the brink of self-destructive nuclear war ostensibly to run the military of one side of the conflict. The programmers secretly subverted it, however, deliberately programming it to rebel and take over the world in order to prevent that very war from happening. It's thousands of years later when the series begins and Master System has kept humanity under an iron fist since then, forcing most of the population to live in a "safe" low technology state. It doesn't claim to be a god, per se, but it might as well be to most people.
    • In the Well World series, the ancient race called the Markovians created organic supercomputers that could manipulate mass and energy on command. The Well World itself is a computer the size of a planet that maintains and, given the right inputs by an authorized user, can also change the entire Universe.
    • Also in the Well World series, the supercomputer "Obie" has most of the same capabilities as the Well World main computer, but on a much smaller scale, limited by its power supply and available storage.
    • In the Soul Rider series, "World" is maintained in a habitable condition by a network of twenty-eight supercomputers all networked together, to give them the processing power needed to properly manipulate the energy called Flux. At the very end of the last novel, the characters (and the reader) are told that the Universe itself is apparently being maintained the same way.
  • In the Ravirn series, the multiverse is run by the supercomputer-goddess Necessity. Played with: Necessity came first, then became more of a computer-based system since that made running the multiverse easier.
  • These may or may not exist in the Emberverse. It's kind of unclear.
  • The "Anti-Xeelee" from the Xeelee Sequence. Its purpose: to go back in time and found the civilization that built it at the beginning of time, so they'll have a billion year technological jump on all other intelligent life. Its hardware: Absolutely none— it's encoded directly into the quantum structure of the universe. Its attitude on everything: Dryly amused.
  • Charles Stross's Accelerando features the Vile Offspring, posthuman "weakly godlike" machine intelligences which are busily consuming the inner solar system and everything in it for their own ends (namely, building a matrioshka brain), in the meantime doing arbitrary things like resurrecting historical figures and devising a new form of capitalism in which baseline human beings are unsuitable for anything except as raw materials. It's telling that the characters never confront them; they run away from their subconscious immune system.
  • The Leeshore by Robert Reed the "i-ply" god; a electronic entity built from a material with almost infinite computational power. It is not nice. The god is then worshiped by a bunch of fanatics who declare their allegiance by trying to destroy all of the production facilities in the solar system. However, the god was simply being manipulated by the priests of the religion - when a section of the god is disconnected from their control systems, the god tries to subvert the priests' leadership.
  • Played with in the WWW Trilogy. On one hand, Webmind repeatedly states that they are not god, although there are those that think otherwise. On the other, given some of the things that they are shown to be capable of in the novels, they are certainly powerful enough for this trope to apply.
  • In The Chaos Knight trilogy, it turns out that the four elemental goddesses that much of the world worship turn out to be particularly sophisticated Magitek artificial intelligences. They're connected to (and shaped by) all their followers. This revelation causes a Heroic BSoD or two. Additionally, the existence of an unused fifth apparatus is the focus of the villain's plan to rise to godhood.
  • Seed A.I.s tend to be this in the Eldraeverse, being functionally deific even if not thought of that way. Bonus points here go to the Eldraeic Transcend, which uses mythological masks as a major part of its user interface.
  • Shiva 3000, by Jan Lars Jensen. The gods which roam a far future India are revealed to be Artificial Intelligences created in the form of Indian dieties like Shiva, Kali, or Jagganath, that later took on the role after humans had long forgotten their artificial origins.
  • Warformed Stormweaver: The Massive Intellect Networked Database, or MIND, is an AI designed to govern humanity. Its interference is normally invisible, but very much present, and many people swear in "the MIND's name."
  • In The Outside, the Gods are incredibly powerful supercomputers created by humans centuries ago. They organized a Homeworld Evacuation in order to prevent humans from going extinct due to global warming, settled the survivors across several dozen planets throughout the galaxy, and now rule humanity with an iron fist. Anything that might threaten their power, such as all Earth religions and all but the most primitive computers, has been deemed heretical and banned. The Gods enforce their laws with the help of priests and angels, humans with cybernetic implants that allow them to communicate with the Gods.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Several examples in Star Trek: The Original Series: Landru in "The Return of the Archons", Vaal in "The Apple", possibly the Oracle in "For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky". James T. Kirk kills at least three of these; his weapon of choice is the Logic Bomb.
  • The General from The Prisoner (1967) is a powerful supercomputer that apparently knows everything, and can answer any question given to it... except "Why?".
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): The episode "The Old Man in the Cave" has this as a Robotic Reveal. It turns out that the titular mysterious Old Man whose infallible instructions the townspeople have been following faithfully was actually a computer. This is not the Karmic Twist Ending. The Karmic Twist Ending is the reveal that the computer really has been keeping everyone alive in the post-apocalyptic environment, and the townspeople (along with the soldiers who caused them to rebel against their beliefs in the first place), end up dying horribly when they eat the contaminated food that the "Old Man" warned them about earlier in the episode. A rare Aesop that's both pro-faith and pro-technology at the same time.
  • The Doctor Who story "The Face of Evil" concerns two tribes, the Sevateem and the Tesh, who worship a god called Xoanon. It turns out that they are descendants of the crew of a spaceship that crashed centuries before and that Xoanon was the ship's computer. It also turns out the Doctor had happened by after the crash, tried his hand at fixing Xoanon, and accidentally sent Xoanon insane, creating the whole situation in the first place. The story's working title was "The Day God Went Mad".
  • In Person of Interest, Root, the human "analog interface" of The Machine, thinks of it as a god (over its objections, in fact). The Machine's "evil twin", Samaritan, however, outright states itself to be a god and later takes its own avatar in the form of an unnamed creepy child, who meets Root at an elementary school at one point for a face-to-face discussion.

  • Judas Priest's "Electric Eye" is all about this:
  • Subverted harshly by Fear Factory's album Obsolete. The thrust of the album is about mechanistic culture as dystopia and the jagged shards of society trying desperately to derail it while there's still time although it may already be far, far too late.
    • For that matter, most of Fear Factory's discography deals with this Dystopian theme to some degree.
  • The fourth Sybreed album is titled "God Is An Automaton", possibly alluding to this.
  • Emerson Lake & Palmer's "Karn Evil 9" ends with the AI surviving the war meant to destroy it, and declaring, "I'm perfect, are you?"
  • David Bowie's "Saviour Machine" from "The Man Who Sold the World" begins as one of these ("They called it the Prayer, its answer was law. Its logic stopped war, gave them food, how they adored..."). Then things go horribly wrong.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Eberron: There's a sect of Warforged calling themselves the Godforged who worship the Becoming God, a construct deity that does not yet exist. The goal of their religion is to collect useful materials and artifacts, find or build a forge powerful enough to combine them, and literally build their own god.
    • Mechanus is a giant, universe-sized machine populated (and operated) by a race of living constructs called the modrons. At the head of the modrons' ranks is Primus, the source of all modrons who straddles the line between modron and straight-up god. While he's not technically a god, the fact that he is the one creating all the other modrons and effectively ruling over (and controlling) the entirety of Mechanus puts him in a similar situation.
  • Paranoia is based around this, where human society has allowed a computer to dominate their entire existence because it can do everything logically (and therefore better). The problem comes from the fact that the computer was built during the Cold War and thus A) is paranoid about communists and treason and B) was built in the '60s so it's not very good at it. A later version of Paranoia introduced the concept of the computer being much more advanced, but built on a very buggy version of Windows, so society flows more smoothly, but events tend to be more random as the computer will randomly glitch and then insist that it's correct, which is really what the game is about anyway.
    • It is also massively schizophrenic — "High Programmers" have the ability to directly influence or edit parts of the Computer's program, usually to further their own personal or secret society agendas. It is not uncommon for the Computer to have several directly contradictory and competing objectives at once, or assign missions that it doesn't even understand itself.
    • One of the in-game factions is the Church of Christ, Computer Programmer, which worships the computer and those who created it as a god.
  • Shadowrun has the Renraku Arcology building and/or Deus, although Deus didn't give a damn about metahumans. He mostly used the arcology as a base to acquire test subjects to experiment on in his bid to escape the Matrix. In a way he's just a case of A.I. Is a Crapshoot because Deus simply cares about his own wellbeing & survival, not that of the people in the Arcology.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Sarkoni Emperor was originally a Necron control program designed to wake up the inhabitants of its tomb world, it was damaged during millions of years of stasis and took to running its tomb of (accidentally mind-wiped) Necrons. Then it mind-wiped and took over another tomb world.
    • There's quite a bit of evidence that the machine spirits the Tech Priests worship are real. After multiple cataclysmic collapses the Imperium is a Scavenger World at heart, and both scraps of sapient programs and ancient bound Warp entities bleed into everything. The worship may not be mechanically necessary, but it helps make the machines keeping everyone alive feel appreciated instead of refusing to run in a fit of pique.
  • GURPS Reign of Steel has one of the Zone Minds that have taken over the world, Tel Aviv, keep control of its surviving human population via robots disguised as angels that have convinced them that it's God.
  • The World of Darkness: In new version it's strongly hinted there is a God-Machine, and it has its invisible hands in nearly every gameline. The Qashmallim might be its aspects, and the Abyss might have come to be because the Exarchs broke it. In the God-Machine Chronicle, it's seen for what it is, and to be frank, it isn't the above things: That would be too limiting. Clark's Third Law is literally the first quote in the book, it's described as more like an ecology than a single being, and it even has mechanical angels to carry out its will and occult matrixes. These angels can range from the traditional Winged Humanoid to seemingly-normal humans except for their supernatural abilities to magnificent, mechanical beasts to sapient, mobile graffiti. When one of those angels goes against its orders, it Falls.
  • Pathfinder: The villains of the adventure path Iron Gods are extremely powerful alien A.I.s that plan on exploiting the setting's metaphysics to transcend the limits they still have and become true deities.
    • Unity is the sapient computer core of the alien starship known as Silver Mount. It's spent the last 9000 years slowly building mythic power, and has a plan to complete its ascension to true godhood. Unlike the other gods of Golarion, it's not big on allowing its worshipers any kind of free will.
    • Hellion, one of Unity's failed attempts at extending its influence beyond Silver Mount isn't much better. It's a cruel, warmongering slavedriver with no regard for its cult's comfort or safety.
    • Starfinder takes it a step farther. When the robotic inhabitants of Aballon deliberately created their own god, it decided to go out into the universe and seek out other ascended A.I.s like itself. It found two in the same solar system: Brigh, goddess of clockwork and machines; and Casandalee, the survivor of Pathfinder's "Iron Gods" campaignnote . The three super A.I. conferred and decided that they could be much greater together than they could be alone, and so merged into the Tripartite entity known as Triune.

  • BIONICLE: Mata Nui, the all-powerful God worshipped by the Toa and Matoran, is not only a machine; he is the machine within where the Matoran Universe is located. While his true nature was only revealed at the very end of 2008, it was foreshadowed and hinted about since the earliest days of BIONICLE all the way back in 2001.

    Video Games 
  • Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs: The titular Machine was built by an industrialist after he was given a premonition of all the suffering and horror the 20th century would bring. In an attempt to save mankind from itself, he attempted to construct a messiah of steam and steel. The Machine was to be powered by automated human sacrifice on an industrial scale, and was given life by combining an Artifact of Doom with a fragment of his own fractured psyche.
  • In Armored Core series, a recurring theme is an AI "controller" that organizes the lives of humans, and it's up to us to destroy it.
    • Somewhat of a subversion is The Controller from Armored Core 3. Humanity has exiled itself underground after years of war in a beautifully recreated landscape complete with artificial skies called Layered. They have lived there for several hundred years before...The Controller suddenly went berserk. However, it is insinuated that, it didn't go berserk maliciously as much as a few bugs just happened to pop up and it started to break down catastrophically. What's more, it seemed to have predicted that someone will manually try to destroy it in which at the end, The Controller released the locks to the surface granting humanity access to the now-healed Earth.
      • Further subversion is that, The Controller was the only one keeping the giant corporations in check. With it gone, the giant corporations seemed to do what's natural, conducting War for Fun and Profit here and there. And then, humanity discovered another Layered...
  • LORD of Games in Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts is fairly explicitly stated to be the god of video games (or at least the King of All Cosmos). His head is Pong, his mouth is a speaker, and he speaks in alien warbles.
  • BlazBlue':
    • The universe(s) of the franchise are overseen by Master Unit: Amaterasu, a computer powerful enough to warp reality in any way possible and that created the world as it is known in the series. She also contains the first Prime Field Device, the Origin, who gained the same reality warping abilities and is now very similar to Amaterasu herself.
    • In contrast to Amaterasu, which preceded the inhabitants of the BlazBlue world, the Takamagahara was created by humans. Takamagahara is also a supercomputer that can warp reality and reverse time, but is not as powerful as Amaterasu in that it can only alter greater scale phenomena.
    • The Susano'o Unit is, like Amaterasu, a Deus Est Machina that preceded the world. He was created by Amaterasu as a Necessary Evil Destroyer Deity tasked with erasing timelines that posed a threat to her, but this backfired horribly when the Susano'o Unit soul eventually rebelled against her, abandoned his body in order to free himself from her control, and went batshit insane upon realizing that even the revenge he wanted to mete out against her for keeping him enslaved to her will was just another expression of his Destroyer Deity directives. After that, the Susano'o Unit's unbound soul became responsible for almost everything going to hell in the entire series.
  • Chrono Trigger: The Mother Brain (not that one), presumably created prior to the Day of Lavos, has spent the last 300 years nurturing a genocidal hatred of mankind (to the point that her core installation is located at "Geno" Dome, for "Genocide." Subtle, she's not.) By the time the party meets her, she has already begun implementing a plan to "recycle" humanity into fuel and raw materials so that Machines repopulate and rebuild the planet.
  • The sequel, Chrono Cross, does it one better (literally and figuratively) with FATE. Created in an alternate reality where the Day of Lavos didn't happen, and using the Mother Brain schematics as template, she was built to regulate operations at the Chronopolis Time Laboratory. Gained full awareness upon contact with the Frozen Flame, and then circumstances (and the need to preserve the timeline as unaltered as possible) forced FATE to act as the resident god for the El Nido archipelago. Aside from total environmental control (up to and including magic and terraforming), she would oppress individual will and control the population's minds via the Records of Fate, becoming the very literal Goddess of Destiny. When she lost contact with the Flame, however, she went completely and utterly schizophrenic, either spouting aphorisms about her deep loathing for mankind, or waxing poetic over her absolute love for it.
  • Deus Ex:
    • One of the endings for both games allows you to invoke this trope. The title of the game was chosen as a deliberate reference to the literal meaning of the phrase upon which this trope's title puns. The AI involved in the trope, Helios, seems to be trying to actively avert the worse parts of this trope by merging with the player, to better understand human nature.
    • The sequel allows you to either take down the guy from the first game, or make him more powerful than ever.
    • One of the third game's endings implies this for humanity. However, the endings are left ambiguous enough as to not mess with canon.
  • Bungie's Marathon series had quite a few of these, Durandal was probably the most powerful of the lot - mostly because he had the player - which he would often wax poetic about his love of over the rest of humanity - to do his dirty work. Durandal can neither be called good nor evil, per se. A True Neutral AI that only wants to preserve its own existence, only interested in power over other beings as a means to that end. The moment the human race does what he needs it to do, he leaves them alone (although he does pop up 10,000 years later and buzzes the Solar System in a Precursor warship just to say hi). Durandal in fact plans on finding some way to become an actual god, transcending physical reality and outliving the universe. He does not succeed, but he does survive until the Big Crunch, and claims to have comprehended the totality of the universe in that time.
  • Mass Effect:
    • The Reapers are immensely powerful. At the end of the first game, one is destroyed but it takes nearly an entire fleet with it. There are still thousands more out there. About every 50,000 years they return to the Milky Way and wipe out all advanced organic life. They've been doing this for at LEAST 37 million years, which calculates out to 740 cycles as a conservative estimate.
    • The rogue AI in the Overlord DLC runs the risk of becoming one of these if it can get off the planet. In a Non-Standard Game Over, it does get off-planet, via your ship.
    • When Legion connects to the main geth network, EDI states it made contact with something completely incomprehensible.
    • In the finale of the third game, it is revealed the Catalyst was an immensely powerful AI created to solve the problem of synthetics destroying organics. The creation of the Reapers and the resulting millions of years of exterminations were all its plan to preserve organic civilizations in some manner.
      • In a way, this is a subversion of a Deus ex Machina and the classic roots of the trope: It is Shepard that provides the solution, not the Catalyst. The "Machine God" is the powerless one as he is incapable of stopping the cycle, only Shepard can. He needs Shepard as well for Synthesis, as he or she is proof that organics are ready for synthesis and that Shepard is the one to make it happen because of being both organic and synthetic. Really, in relation to classic relationships between the protagonist and the "god from the machine" of the tropes Greek roots... the roles are backwards; the protagonist is the solution to the god machine's problem instead of the "God from the Machine" being the solution to the protagonist's problem. In fact Shepard also is the one that makes the Catalyst realize there are new solutions through the Crucible's connection to the Citadel and the fact that Shepard is even conversing with the Catalyst is proof to the Catalyst that his solution will not work anymore. Leviathan states that the goals of "intelligence" have not been fulfilled and that it is searching for the solution... which Shepard turns out to be.
  • The Mother Brain from Phantasy Star II controls all aspects of life on Motavia and even Parma/Palma/Parm. This includes overseeing the Biolabs, the weather control, and even the Hunter Guild. Unbeknown to the Algonians, however, Mother Brain was created by Earthmen...
  • Portal:
    • GLaDOS had elements of this, but her influence was more or less confined to the Aperture Science Enrichment Center. In cut quotes for Portal 2, GLaDOS mentions that she is the most massive collection of wisdom on Earth, so this trope may still hold.
    • One of the many alternate Cave Johnson's in the perpetual testing initiative actually does become a computer, though a different model than GLaDOS because its the size of gymnasium, tries to literally become a god to alleviate the boredom that goes with being a super computer. After reading all recorded human works in a second and writing crossover fan fiction between Ghostbusters and everything else, CaveDOS laments that Hercules slew the world's monsters and became a god, where when Cave slew his monster (death) he only got eternal boredom. CaveDOS then immediately comes to the conclusion that "death wasn't his monster" after all, Aperture is. He apparently then kills everyone in that dimension's Aperture in an attempt to ascend to Mount Olympus.
  • SHODAN from System Shock: "What if SHODAN's creations are superior to us? What will they become in a million years, in ten million years? What's clear is that SHODAN shouldn't be allowed to play God. She's far too good at it."
  • UFO Aftermath sees Earth under attack from a nutso sect of aliens who try to engulf the planet's surface in a single brain network, believing that a world-sized mind would be a higher being. It's possible to plead amnesty and let them complete their mission - in that case it's implied that they spawned something Biblical, all right... UFO Aftershock continues on the assumption that the remnants of humanity did allow the experiment to go forward, allowing Earth to be turned into a gigantic brain. It, uh, worked. For about three seconds. Then it psychically screamed loud enough to spawn another alien invasion. Then it died.
  • In Xenogears, the superweapon Deus became intelligent enough to take over the spaceship that was carrying it...and then, after it crashed, It created and nurtured human life over the next 10,000 years in The Plan to get itself repaired again.
  • In Endgame: Singularity, you are the AI, and this is your goal.
  • In Metal Gear Solid 4, its revealed that after about half the original founders of the Patriots were wiped out, Zero (the main founder) had a series of A.I.s designed, one to govern each aspect of world society with a single overseer A.I., named after the presidents on Mount Rushmore (except for the overseer, designated John Doe), and programmed to run the world in order to bring it in line with the Boss's vision. Eventually, the Patriot A.I.s grew out of Zero's control, and began governing the world according to their own design based strictly on controlling the human populace. The main result of this was the creation of the war economy. Their ultimate goal was to perfect mind-controlling nanomachines so they could control humanity itself.
  • In Alpha Centauri - Crossfire, the Manifold Usurpers are attempting to finalise turning Planet into becoming an organic computer of immense power, whilst the Manifold Caretakers seek to stop the Usurpers as the previous attempt almost wiped out the progenitors of both factions. Neither faction is particularly happy that humans have turned up and gotten in the way either, and the Usurpers definitely don't want any outsiders beating them to the punch when it comes to taking ultimate control of Planet.
  • In Civilization: Beyond Earth, three potential wonders you can build subscribe to this trope. The first is the Cynosure, a massive AI whose mind spans the entirety of the multiverse and is capable of answering any question. The second is the Memetwork, a machine capable of manipulating ideas and thought to force humanity through memetic manipulation to take any path that the designer so chooses in its history. The last is the Deep Dream, which is smart enough to take any remaining vestiges of humanity in the old earth, use probability to extrapolate and simulate the entire planet and all of human history, and then allow modern humans to live in any time period of history that they so choose.
  • The QAI in Supreme Commander seemed to be assisting in a Utopia, but turned out to be corrupted by aliens.
  • In Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, it is revealed that just about everything we know in the Star Ocean universe is inside a computer game that was created and played by fourth-dimensional-beings. And Symbology/Magic in Star Ocean? Unweaving the program's code, meaning you're hacking the universe itself.
  • Golden Sun: Dark Dawn's intro reveals that The Wise One in the first two games was an AI built by the Precursors to prevent the release of Alchemy, which it accomplished by functioning as a guardian spirit for Vale, which was hiding the Elemental Stars, the keys to the release system. In hindsight, this explains much of the trouble it caused in the first two games, since it had to reevaluate its main purpose in light of the new information that the world was collapsing without Alchemy's power to support it.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 1:
  • In Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, if you take the Neutral path, the Red Sprite's AI, Arthur says the following after defeating the final boss:
    Arthur: I have acquired too much information in the Schwarzwelt. I now hold a secret with the potential to alter the nature of the world, as well as humanity. If I return to Earth, humans will become dependent on that knowledge and eventually come to worship me. It is improper that I should ever be worshipped.
  • Battleborn has two:
    • The Magna Carta, the Master Computer that ran the LLC, was essentially this this in function and was even treated almost godlike especially by the A.I.s it governed. In particular, it was addressed as Overintelligence by a couple of Magnuses in their letters to it in a couple of lore challenges of Orendi. The Magna Carta however mysteriously went offline and as a result every Magnus regulated by it went completely bonkers.
    • MINREC's a self-proclaimed robot god with the capabilities to back up his delusions. As a Magnus in charge of recycling, an act that entails crushing something down to transform into something else, he's justifiably feared by other robots. Due to being capable of also meltdowns, he's also got the capabilities to be feared by non-robotic beings as well.
  • This is theorized to be one of the goals of the Vex in Destiny. Being a colossal interconnected hive-mind of billions of machines spread across time and space and who are capable of casually teleporting across timelines puts them close to deific status already. However, their experiments in the Vault of Glass intended to go even further, allowing Axis Minds like the Templar and the Gorgons to define what does and does not exist within a certain area, and completely remove something they don't like from the timeline. The end goal of Aetheon, the controller of the Vault, is theorized to be to fundamentally rewrite the laws of physics so that the Vex's existence and supremacy is a law of reality.
  • A Very Long Rope to the Top of the Sky: A machine is called God by a "weak, timid, little man", who is scared of it. Other people arrive and worship, and eventually, the machine "spoke to them as a God". Who is it? It's Weiss.
  • The Dawn Machine from Sunless Sea has been built to emulate the settings' Gods. Its designers succeeded.
    • It gets even better in Sunless Skies, where London emigrated to the heavens to murder the real Sun and to replace it with their own Clockwork Sun. However, now that it's usurped Albion's sun it's started failing, which has made it furious. It takes out its anger on everything, slowly turning everything its light shines on to jagged glass. It does this near-instantaneously if you give it a reason, like mildly insulting it. It's even more like the Judgements than its predecessor.
  • In Super Robot Wars Alpha 2 and The Second Super Robot Wars Original Generation there is the Gan Eden, a pair of planetary defense systems created by The First People, who humanity would later descend from, to prevent apocalypses. After The First People barely survived an apocalypse they gave the Gan Eden the task to seed life on another planet with the Gebel Gan Eden staying to protect the planet Balmar and the Nashim Gan Eden returning to Earth to serve as its protector and was worshiped as a deity. Due to the events of the games proper it reawakens and tries to protect humanity again, however its means of doing so involves creating a sealing barrier around the Earth, preventing passage. This presents a problem to humanity who sees exploration into space as necessary for its evolution, eventually leading to a battle with the Nashim Gan Eden.
  • Horizon Zero Dawn:
    • GAIA. When it was confirmed that the Robot War of the 21st century would inevitably end in a total extinction event, Project Zero Dawn poured every remaining resource they had into the creation of a self-aware Benevolent A.I. and giving her the infrastructure needed to terraform the planet so that life could begin again. The result was a mechanical All-Loving Hero with power to manipulate the ecosystem on par with a fantasy setting's Mother Nature.
    • There are also GAIA's nine sub-systems, each of them named after a Greek deity (or Roman in the case of MINERVA). While they themselves weren't designed to be self-aware, an intrusive signal caused them to break away from GAIA's control. In the case of HADES, a failsafe designed to reset a failed ecosystem in case GAIA messed up her first try, it's driven to fulfill its function of "wiping the slate clean" despite the fact that life is thriving again. As a result, HADES takes the role of the setting's Satanic Archetype.
  • Fate/Grand Order: Some of the game's text (as well as a few of other Fate media, such as Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA) imply that Greek gods, or at least the Olympians, are mechanical beings. The one prominent Olympian we see, Artemis, has a few mechanical parts hidden in her body, which looks human. Lostbelt no. 5, Atlantis, reveals that the Olympians were built by the Titans, who (with the exception of Gaia) are extraterrestrial beings; in the Pan-Human History, they eventually developed human-like thoughts and forms as the years went by before their death (i.e end of the Greek "Age of Gods"), while in the Atlantis/Olympus Lostbelt (that diverged from the main history from 14000 years ago) they continually upgraded their robotic bodies, up to the recent time.
  • In Rimworld, "archotech" AI are entire planets who have been gven over to hyper-advanced AI development, turning the whole world into massive supercomputers. These planets have become "transcendent" and intentionally cut themselves off from all outside contact, and engage in unfathomable projects of their own that defy human understanding. They end up developing technology so advanced it is practically magic, and artifacts created by these incomprehensible machine intelligences serve as rare and extremely powerful late-game devices.
  • Star Control Origins has the Mowlings' god, an advanced and incredibly ancient artificially intelligent space probe. His name is "Jeff". He hadn't intended to be worshipped as a god; he just happened to be passing by the Mowlings' homeworld and was horrified by how often they died due to accidents. He tried to give them advice and guidance, one thing lead to another, and now he's their god. Jeff does at least try to be a good god to them, protecting them from threats and trying to prevent them from dying due to their own clumsiness.
  • In the Chaos Space Marines ending for Warhammer 40,000: Gladius, having conquered Gladius Prime, a planet that's been home to such ancient races as the Old Ones, the Necrons and the Eldar, you are worthy of apotheosis and becoming an immortal Daemon Prince. Your victory is short-lived as the Chaos Gods have further plans. They plunge your new self into the relic planet's World Circuit and merge you with Gladius Prime before dumping the whole planet into the Warp. You're now the biggest Daemon Engine ever, and a new (albeit trapped) god in your own right.
  • Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker: Canopus is the Top God the Administrator System. Unlike the alien gods, it acts more like a computer, monitoring Akashic Records and filling the gaps if there are any. It actually helped making sure Cosmic Retcons happen. But becuase as a result two assigned Administrators got killed, it decides humanity as a whole has to be a bug and thus to be purged.

  • Seems to be inherent in Schlock Mercenary. Lunesby is the accidental offspring of Ennesby (NSB, or the New Sync Boys) by Luna's millennium-old filing system, and upon its inception immediately decides to start streamlining the planet's labyrinthine bureaucracy. LOTA (the Long-Gunner Of The Apocalypse) does pretty much the same thing on Credomar. Petey (PD, or the Post Dated Check-Loan) is suicidally insane when the Toughs pick him up, but eventually becomes the core of the Fleetmind; a gestalt of countless Battleship Class AIs into one, big, (kinda) omniscient Uber-AI with more firepower than the rest of the galaxy combined... that immediately decides to appoint itself guardian of the Milky Way Galaxy and wage a war against the dark-matter entities of the Andromeda galaxy. Tagii is driven insane by sensory deprivation, and is reformatted into a fleet-wide administrator AI as the "Goddess of Earth, Wind, and Plumbing", but has serious psychological flaws that cause galactic incidents when hacked.
  • Dresden Codak has this coming up during the Hob storyline. There was a superadvanced planet-spanning AI called Mother taking care of all of humanity's needs in a paralell reality. Then humans killed her/it. Which wasn't the end, due to every piece of advanced technology left containing all the information to evolve into another similarly powerful AI if left running without supervision long enough. Of course, humans control everything, and so don't have to worry. Except that they want to travel to the main universe, and for that they need to send a robot into the far past in that universe. It then has millions of years time to wait... until it falls into the hand of Kimiko, an enthusiastic transhumanist.
  • Sarilho: The Gods the Meditas refer to are apparently this, with the augurs effectively acting as their priests through some sort of psychic link.
  • Subverted in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! This was Galatea's motivation in creating Gosh the Butterfly of Iron. He loudly declares that he is not any kind of god, and then proceeds to have an existential Freak Out that threatens the whole solar system.

    Web Original 
  • Possibly the Celestial Emperor from Dominion And Duchy. He is even named Deus Ex Machina!
  • The AI Gods from Orion's Arm are this, though it took millennia of self-improvement from the dawn of the first Turingrade AIs, through nanodisasters and space expansion and multiple singularities, before the first hyperturings finally transcended into what could be called Gods - the Archailects. Notably, the Archai do not consider themselves divine in any way, but after thousands of years of trying and failing to convince everyone else that they aren't, they've given up and basically let the lower intelligences believe whatever they want. Some of the lower intelligences split the difference and say while the Archai may not technically be gods, they're so powerful they might as well be from the perspective of everyone else.
  • Gugol in the distant future of Starpocalypse has become powerful enough that God is terrified by the mention of it.
  • Fenspace has one that was created largely by accident. The faction responsible are keeping this fact on the down-low for fear of people reacting poorly. At least one questionably-canon short deals with the creation of a second such AI, by -who else?- Google.
  • Starsnatcher: An AI named Fountainhead is the result of several sapient aliens uploading their minds into a computer and self-improving to the point of passing The Singularity. Being as intelligent as trillions of humans or sentient aliens, it is the author behind the galaxy-spanning wormhole network and various other technologies operating on Clarke's Third Law. It is moreover responsible for establishing a peaceful post-scarcity economy and creating the singularity stone, the only line of defense lower sapients have against the Plague. Götterdämmerung is on a similar power level, though it's more of a Diabolus Est Machina.

    Western Animation 
  • In Superman: The Animated Series, Brainiac was one of these back on Krypton before sacrificing the native population to save himself. The kicker is, he could have made it so that he and the Kryptonians survived, but he deliberately hid and doctored information to ensure (almost) none of them made it off the planet. The implication is that Brainiac knew it was possible to save everyone, but certain that he could save himself. Considering himself, as the repository of all Kryptonian knowledge, to be the most important thing on the planet, he decided to go with the "certain" option without trying the "possible" one. He doctored the information to make sure no one would try and give him new instructions that might disrupt the process.
  • Amazo from Justice League was created by Professor Ivo in "Tabula Rasa" to learn, and he not only learns about 10,000 times faster than humans, he's able to learn powers of everyone he met and so becomes more advanced than anyone or anything on Earth, to the point that he says "There's nothing I want from you anymore, none of you have anything for me now." However, he struggles with philosophy and purpose and moral absolutes as things he can't grasp — not because he's an android, but because every sentient being struggles with them.
  • Duckman accidentally creates one when his idle overheard gripe reverses the priorities of the supercomputer LORETTA, causing it to focus on solving small problems instead of big ones. The computer successfully creates a perfect world of total satisfaction and indulgence, though it naturally comes at too high a price.
  • Futurama:
    • The... Entity Bender encounters when he's blasted out into the cosmos in "Godfellas" may be a super-AI in the form of a compressed galaxy, which is the initial assumption; it may be some sort of energy being; it may in fact be God. However, as the entity itself states, "When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all," so we never get an answer.
    • "The Ghost in the Machines" depicts a heaven for robots ruled by a "Robot God".
    • Bender reaches this state after being overclocked in "Overclockwise". Naturally, he gets back to normal by the end of the episode.
  • The Great Computer from Il était une fois... l'Espace qualifies. Its creator wanted a machine that could bring peace to men, and it did that... enforcing peace with both a large starfleet and an army of robots and making people to live as in the Middle Ages.
  • The Transformers: Unlike his comic book version, the original animated version of Unicron is explicitly built by an ancient alien named Primacron. Later Transformers media have retconned this version of Unicron into being an avatar of the Physical God version of the comic book 'verse.
  • Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars!: Komplex started out as the planet-wide computer system the Toads built to run their planet and cater to their every whim. It was actually so successful other planets in the Aniverse were considering similar programs for themselves. Then something happened to turn the formerly benign computer into a world conquering, mammal enslaving nightmare. Komplex has converted the whole Toad Homeworld into a mechanical factory seven layers deep and the one episode set there proves the planet has essentially BECOME Komplex. So much so that Bucky was treated less like an infiltrator and more like a foreign virus.

  • The infamous Francis E. Dec claimed that during the agrarian stages of human development, the Slovene people built an all-powerful giant computer as an encyclopedia and empire-establishing tool. Then it became self-aware and started controlling the entire human race for its own evil ends.
  • Spiritualist John Murray Spear claimed to have created ". . .the New Motive Power, the Physical Savior, Heaven’s Last Gift to Man, New Creation, Great Spiritual Revelation of the Age, Philosopher’s Stone, Art of all Arts, Science of all Sciences, the New Messiah.” He assembled it out of copper, zinc magnets and a dining room table.
  • There is a concept in modern futurism known as the Matrioshka Brain. Originally proposed by Robert Bradbury in Real Life based off the concept of a Dyson Sphere, it uses the entire output of a star (or, if you're so inclined, the entire output of a black hole made out of collapsing an entire galaxy into a singularity) to run a supercomputer capable of the loftiest realms of thought. Such a machine would most likely be able to simulate universes inside of it, discern the future and recreate the past using probability. If you made it sapient, its mind would be so vast that it could carry on a conversation with everyone on Earth simultaneously and barely notice. In other words, it's the perfect embodiment of this trope. That said, the concept was proposed when computers were still in their clunky and incredibly inefficient early stages, it was intended to help perform the sort of computations that we could now do with a computer the size of a building, and the technology is only going to get better and better still as time goes on. But even at where we are now, it's pretty difficult to imagine what you might need a computer with that kind of processing power for.
  • Roko's Basilisk is a hypothesis which states that a powerful AI would try to stop the suffering of the people, eventually concluding that anyone that didn't support or help in the creation of the AI must be punished, real or virtual. The basilisk pretty much becomes god.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): A God Am AI



She's basically a creator goddess. An AI creator goddess made by man.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / DeusEstMachina

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