In this lesson, we cover the topic of simulated worlds. Elon Musk, who is one of the most influential people in the world of technology, says there is only one in a billion chance that we are not living in a simulation. That is to say, it is highly likely that we are all living in an artificial world created by our ancestors that simulates reality so well, that we think it is real.
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Neo is offered a choice between truth and illusion. If he takes the blue pill, he will return to his old life, where everything seems normal. If he takes the red pill, he will wake up to see the world as it truly is. He chooses the red pill. When he wakes up, he realizes that he’s been asleep in a pod where he only dreamt that he was living a normal life. The truth is, he and all of the other humans were prisoners of sophisticated machines. The machines created the illusion of a normal life for the sleeping humans so they could harvest their energy.
Neo is a character in the movie, The Matrix. Even though the movie is fictional, many scientists are beginning to think that we also may be living inside an illusion of sorts. Some have even gone as far as saying that we are living inside of a video game. Elon Musk, who is one of the most influential people in the world of technology, says that there is only a one in a billion chance that we are not living in a simulation.
Musk says that technology is advancing so fast, that soon we will be able to create games or simulations that are indistinguishable from reality. That means we could create entire artificial worlds.
Musk believes that we are living in one of these artificial worlds now. He thinks our ancestors created very advanced video games, which simulated reality so well, that the characters (us) actually believe we are alive.
Some tech billionaires are so convinced that we are living inside of a video game that they have hired scientists to break us out of the game.
But not everyone in science is sold on the idea that we are living inside of a simulation. One argument is that if virtual worlds and simulations get good enough to be indistinguishable from reality, they cease to be simulations. They are real.
So, you could say that even if this is a simulation that we are all living in, it has become so real to each of us, that it no longer qualifies as a simulation. Whether or not Musk and the other proponents of the simulation theory are on the right track might be unknowable. But, if there were a red pill / blue pill choice, which world would you choose?