If you’ve ever played The Sims, you know what it’s like to completely control (and sometimes fuck with) someone’s life. But what if someone was doing that to yours?
According to Elon Musk, there’s only a ‘one in billions’ chance that we’re not living in a computer simulation. Translation? We are probably definitely living in a computer simulation.
Our lives are almost certainly controlled by Artificial Intelligence and highly-powered computers, meaning we most likely live within an artificial world like in The Matrix.
The Tesla and SpaceX CEO, who has donated huge amounts of money to research into the dangers of artificial intelligence, suggested the theory at a tech conference in California in June.
The strongest argument for us probably being in a simulation I think is the following: 40 years ago we had Pong – two rectangles and a dot. That’s where we were.
Now 40 years later we have photorealistic, 3D simulations with millions of people playing simultaneously and it’s getting better every year. And soon we’ll have virtual reality, we’ll have augmented reality.
If you assume any rate of improvement at all, then the games will become indistinguishable from reality, just indistinguishable.
Musk added that even if the speed of those advancements dropped by 1,000, we would still be moving forward at an intense speed relative to the age of life. Since that would lead to video games being virtually indistinguishable from reality, ‘it would seem to follow that the odds that we’re in ‘base reality’ is one in billions’.
He also decided to drop in that we better damn well hope we’re living in a simulation, otherwise the world is going to end.
If civilisation stops advancing, then that may be due to some calamitous event that stops civilisation.
Either we’re going to create simulations that are indistinguishable from reality or civilisation will ceast to exist. Those are the two options.
My question is though – no matter how realistic games can get – will they ever be so indistinguishable from reality that its characters will have thoughts of their own? Which would seem to be the case if we are, in fact, really living in a computer simulation.
Which leaves the question, if we really are living in The Matrix, will we ever actually find out?