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Scientist Proves Reality Might Be Simulation With Artficial Intelligence Algorithm

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 01 Mar 2021 16:00
Scientist Proves Reality Might Be Simulation With Artficial Intelligence AlgorithmWarner Bros./Wallpaper Flare

A physicist has created an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm that may prove that reality is a simulation.

Hong Qin’s algorithm could call into question all we know about reality, and whether it’s a simulation or not.

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There are ongoing theories surrounding artificial simulation that argue that what we experience as reality is actually a giant computer simulation created by a more sophisticated intelligence.

Qin, from the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), devised an algorithm to predict planets’ orbits and applied it to the orbits of Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Ceres, and Jupiter. He is now developing the AI so that i can predict and potentially control other behaviours.

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He explained, ‘Usually in physics, you make observations, create a theory based on those observations, and then use that theory to predict new observations. What I’m doing is replacing this process with a type of black box that can produce accurate predictions without using a traditional theory or law.’

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‘Essentially, I bypassed all the fundamental ingredients of physics,’ Qin added. ‘I go directly from data to data. There is no law of physics in the middle.’

Joshua Burby, a physicist at the DOE’s Los Alamos National Laboratory who earned his Ph.D. at Princeton under Qin’s mentorship, explained that the accurate predictions don’t happen by mistake.

He said:

Hong taught the program the underlying principle used by nature to determine the dynamics of any physical system. The payoff is that the network learns the laws of planetary motion after witnessing very few training examples. In other words, his code really ‘learns’ the laws of physics.

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Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Qin was reportedly inspired in part by Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom’s philosophical thought experiment that argued that the universe may be an artificial simulation.

The physicist told Big Think, ‘What is the algorithm running on the laptop of the Universe? If such an algorithm exists, I would argue that it should be a simple one defined on the discrete spacetime lattice. The complexity and richness of the Universe come from the enormous memory size and CPU power of the laptop, but the algorithm itself could be simple.’

Basically, Qin’s algorithm raises questions about the very nature of science and implies that we could be living in a real life version of Keanu Reeve’s The Matrix. 

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Mind blown? Mine too.

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Science, Artificial Intelligence, Computer, Now, The Matrix

Credits

Big Think and 1 other
  1. Big Think

    Physicist creates AI algorithm that may prove reality is a simulation

  2. Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

    New machine learning theory that can be applied to fusion energy raises questions about the very nature of science