Philosopher Nick Bostrom published a rather convincing argument in 2003 that insisted that were probably living in a computer simulation. Read it and youll understand why Elon Musk says the odds that were living in base reality is one in billions.
In short the argument goes like this:
A lot of people think were on the brink of creating super-powerful computers and A.I.
If we are, then well soon have the ability to create vast simulations of reality, populated with simulated people who are conscious yet dont know they are simulated.
If we can create real-world simulations, we probably will.
Scientists might run simulations of history with different variations to see how things play out. Gamers might do the same. Wealthy people might create fantasy worlds for themselves. If its cheap enough, many people might do it. Who knows; conscious machines might do it to distract the humans whose bodies they are using to generate power. Whoever creates these simulations, its fair to assume they might create very many.
Given that one base reality (the reality that developed this technology) would lead to countless simulated realities (populated, again, with conscious beings), then odds would be that we currently live one of the simulated realities.
There are some ways around this conclusion, but they range from unnerving to unsatisfying.
On one hand, we might be overestimating the likelihood of mankind reaching that super-computer-powered posthuman state.
If we are probably not on the brink of a computing breakthrough either because the technology is unexpectedly complicated or because weve underestimated the existential risks facing mankind then the odds shift back in favor of us living in base reality. A naive, overoptimistic, and possibly doomed base reality.
Another argument against us living in a simulation is that, even if a posthuman state is likely, posthumans wont have much interest in simulating reality.
Futurist and Age of Em author Robin Hanson made this case in a recent exchange with Inverse. We are not actually very eager to simulate our past, except for the few parts of the past that have the most cultural resonance to us, Hanson wrote. Pick a person in the past, and we do almost nothing like simulating their world. Not in novels, in plays, in video games, nothing.
But, uh, count us among the people who would eagerly create simulated realities to play around with and if there are many people like us, and this technology is realistic, then yeah, were back to probably living in a video game.
So what if we do live in a simulation? It might actually be a moot point, Bostrom argues. After all, the reality we live in appears to follow predictable rules, and our way of living and understanding of the universe is built around those rules.
Properly understood, therefore, the truth should have no tendency to make us go crazy or to prevent us from going about our business and making plans and predictions for tomorrow, Bostrom writes.
Dont Miss: Experts Predict When A.I. Will Beat Humans in Everything
Read the rest here:
- Ozzfest 2001: Where Are They Now? The Second Millennium - Metal Injection.net - August 20th, 2017
- How religious and non-religious people view the apocalypse - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists - August 20th, 2017
- What to See in New York Art Galleries This Week - New York Times - August 18th, 2017
- Dawn of posthuman age - The Statesman - August 14th, 2017
- 9th Beyond Humanism Conference Wrap Up - Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies - August 11th, 2017
- Posthuman advertising: does AI spell the end of media and marketing as we know it? - Marketing magazine Australia (registration) - August 8th, 2017
- July 31, 2017 - Nam June Paik Art Center - Our Bright Future-Cybernetic Fantasy - E-Flux - August 2nd, 2017
- Q&A with MCA's Anna Davis | ArtsHub Australia - ArtsHub (subscription) - July 31st, 2017
- Pulitzer Prize Winner Jorie Graham's Collection of Poetry, 'Fast', Will Haunt You, Beautifully - PopMatters - July 25th, 2017
- An Interview With Rick Rosner on Women and the Future (Part 4) - The Good Men Project (blog) - July 9th, 2017
- Milano Arch Week - E-Flux - June 14th, 2017
- The body electric - Arkansas Times - June 8th, 2017
- Inaugural Milano Arch Week - E-Flux - May 26th, 2017
- How the Androids Took Over the Alien Franchise - New Republic - May 23rd, 2017
- Our Posthuman Future - Wikipedia - May 20th, 2017
- Oklahoma filmmaker Kyle Roberts roars back into the 1920s with ... - NewsOK.com - May 13th, 2017
- ARCH+ 228: "StadtlandThe New Rurbanism" - E-Flux - April 27th, 2017
- No Man's Universe - The Escapist - April 14th, 2017
- March Madness in the Meatpacking District - The New Yorker - March 31st, 2017
- Supergirl Season 2 Episode 16 Review: Star-Crossed - Den of Geek US - March 21st, 2017
- Musk and Bostrom's computer simulation theory isn't as crazy as it first sounds - The Plaid Zebra (blog) - March 10th, 2017
- At the Spencer, surprises from new Asian artists - Pitch Weekly - March 7th, 2017
- The Ninja Tune forum has shut down after 19 years - FACT - March 6th, 2017
- Things Are Super Weird Right Now, but It's Not a Glitch in the Matrix, Says Harvard Physicist - ScienceAlert - March 4th, 2017
- '10 Years of I Love Acid' compilation comes on a 303-shaped USB stick - Mixmag - February 28th, 2017
- I Love Acid's 10th anniversary compilation comes on a 303-shaped USB stick - FACT - February 28th, 2017
- Posthuman EP | Cosmic Bridge Records - February 24th, 2017
- Btonsalon Center for Art and Research - E-Flux - February 22nd, 2017
- Prairie Pop: NPR's Codrescu breaks down Dadaism's ongoing influence - Little Village - February 14th, 2017
- Will we control innovation or will it control us? - The Daily Courier (subscription) - February 12th, 2017
- The Ethics of Innovation: Creativity, Machines, and Artificial Intelligence - Kootenay News Advertiser - February 10th, 2017
- Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) - E-Flux - February 6th, 2017
- ACADIA | 2016 Conference - November 30th, 2016
- N. Katherine Hayles - Wikipedia - November 25th, 2016
- New Romance: art and the posthuman :: Museum of ... - November 21st, 2016
- Rise of the Posthuman Technocracy : Waking Times - November 21st, 2016
- Marilyn Manson: Posthuman - YouTube - November 6th, 2016
- Amazon.com: The Posthuman (9780745641584): Rosi Braidotti ... - September 8th, 2016
- Plurilogue: The Posthuman - June 27th, 2016
- The Posthuman Manifesto by Robert Pepperell, Kritikos V.2 ... - May 4th, 2016
- Posthuman NewArrival - Miniature Market - February 23rd, 2016
- Posthuman Futures | abhominal | experimentations on the ... - January 2nd, 2016
- Book - Rosi Braidotti - The Posthuman - December 27th, 2015
- Singularity (Posthuman transcension) - Palaeos - December 20th, 2015
- Posthuman | Board Game | BoardGameGeek - December 14th, 2015
- Posthuman | Board Game | BoardGameGeek - December 14th, 2015
- The Posthuman Project: Official Trailer #1 - YouTube - October 15th, 2015
- Review of Our Posthuman Future - September 7th, 2015
- In Defense of Posthuman Dignity - Nick Bostrom - August 22nd, 2015
- Kenan Malik's review of Our Posthuman Future by Francis ... - August 19th, 2015
- What does it mean to be posthuman? - New Scientist - August 17th, 2015
- Katherine Hayles, How We Became Posthuman, prologue - August 15th, 2015
- The Posthuman Project: Official Trailer #2 - YouTube - August 15th, 2015
- Posthumanism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - July 28th, 2015
- PostHuman (2012) - IMDb - July 21st, 2015