Statistically speaking, we’re living in a simulation. That’s according to the paper written by Nick Bostrom, who postulated that there are three possible scenarios:
1. "The fraction of human-level civilizations that reach a posthuman stage (that is, one capable of running high-fidelity ancestor simulations) is very close to zero", or
2. "The fraction of posthuman civilizations that are interested in running simulations of their evolutionary history, or variations thereof, is very close to zero", or
3. "The fraction of all people with our kind of experiences that are living in a simulation is very close to one."
To break it all down, firstly he proposes that it’s unlikely that humans will survive as long as a posthuman era. Secondly, it’s very unlikely that we would be interested in running simulations of ancient civilisations. And thirdly, it’s more likely that we are in fact, currently living in a simulation already.
No ways, you scoff. I know what’s real. Neo had a similar reaction (and he was The One, so don’t feel bad). Morpheus had an answer for that, which he put so eloquently: “If real is what you can feel, smell, taste and see, then 'real' is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain.”
In the last two decades alone, how much more "real" has gaming become? Not only have characters in games become more fleshed out in their renderings, but they have a lot more depth (just think about Lara Croft’s 90s, polygon style, compared to the raw, very human-like appearance of the new version). Characters are not only looking more realistic, but they are becoming much more life-like, almost appearing to have a soul. Couple that with the rapidly advancing technology of virtual reality and it’s not a stretch to believe that a Matrix-like future is ahead of us.
Already in Japan, the population is aging and people are not coupling up as much as they used to, resulting in fewer babies born. Why should they couple up when there are perfect, gorgeous characters available that can fulfill their needs? Transport that into a virtual world (think a VR version of Second Life) and honestly, why would people deal with the messiness of real-life relationships? The draw of simulations is far too strong.
The advancement of AI is such that the biggest minds of today see it as the end of humanity. So if we take another hundred years to develop human-intelligence robots, we will have spent the next hundred years also advancing the technology that could make a life-like simulation. It’s a snowball effect: the technology gets better at an exponential rate. So if it’s the end for us in a century, it’s easy to see why we would then continue to exist in a simulated world. If we can do it (which is likely), the odds are in favour of it having already happened. We don’t have evidence to the contrary. And our deep love for fictional, “simulated” characters shows how we wouldn’t have much of a problem with it.
Star Wars fan (the ORIGINALS), player of Very Old games, music obsessive. Speaks in Movie Quote. Wife, Mom, billionaire genius playboy philanthropist.
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