The next time you hear someone talking about algorithms, replace the term with “God” and ask yourself if the meaning changes. Our supposedly algorithmic culture is not a material phenomenon so much as a devotional one, a supplication made to the computers people have allowed to replace gods in their minds, even as they simultaneously claim that science has made us impervious to religion.

 -Ian Bogost, The Cathedral of Computation. Jan 15, 2015, The Atlantic

Algorithm: A process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer. Origin: Late 17th century (denoting the Arabic or decimal notation of numbers): variant (influenced by Greek arithmos ‘number’) of Middle English algorism, via Old French from medieval Latin algorismus. The Arabic source, al-Kwārizmī ‘the man of Kwārizm’ (now Khiva), was a name given to the 9th-century mathematician Abū Ja‘far Muhammad ibn Mūsa, author of widely translated works on algebra and arithmetic.

Oxford English Dictionary