Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk claimed that there is only a “one in billions” chance we are not living in a Matrix-style computer simulation at Recode’s annual Code Conference this week.
“The strongest argument for us being in a simulation probably is the following: Forty years ago we had Pong. Like two rectangles and a dot. That was what games were,” said Musk.
Now, 40 years later we have photorealistic, 3D simulations with millions of people playing simultaneously, and it’s getting better every year. Soon we’ll have virtual reality, augmented reality.
If you assume any rate of improvement at all, then the games will become indistinguishable from reality, even if that rate of advancement drops by a thousand from what it is now. Then you just say, okay, let’s imagine it’s 10,000 years in the future, which is nothing on the evolutionary scale.
So given that we’re clearly on a trajectory to have games that are indistinguishable from reality, and those games could be played on any set-top box or on a PC or whatever, and there would probably be billions of such computers or set-top boxes, it would seem to follow that the odds we’re in base reality is one in billions.
Tell me what’s wrong with that argument…” asked Musk.
“So is the answer yes?” asked a member of the audience in reference to reality being an artificial simulation.
“The argument is probably… Is there a flaw in that argument?” he replied.
Musk continued to argue that it would be a good thing if we are living in a simulation, claiming that if we weren’t, a calamitous event will wipe out humanity and stop it from advancing.
“Arguably we should hope that that’s true, because otherwise if civilization stops advancing, that may be due to some calamitous event that erases civilization,” he argued. “So maybe we should be hopeful this is a simulation, because otherwise either we are going to create simulations indistinguishable from reality or civilization will cease to exist. Those are the two options”.
Code Conference was sponsored by regressive-left news outlet Vox Media, and the conference included other progressive Silicon Valley keyspeakers such as Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, TMZ founder Harvey Levin, and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who appeared on stage with his friend, Black Lives Matter leader DeRay Mckesson.