Tech visionary Elon Musk thinks that there is a 'one in billions' chance that humanity is not living in a simulation created by aliens, given how many technological advances we have achieved in just 40 years.
Musk was responding to a question posed at the Recode conference in the US. A video of the exchange can be seen below.
“Forty years ago we had Pong - two rectangles and a dot. That's what games were. Now 40 years later we have photo-realistic 3D simulations with millions of people playing simultaneously, and it's getting better every year,” he said.
Musk pointed out that the speed and scale of this improvement mean that we will eventually reach a point where games are "indistinguishable" from real life, even if it takes 10,000 years.
“Soon we'll have virtual reality and augmented reality [and] if you assume any rate of improvement at all the games will become indistinguishable from reality, just indistinguishable.”
This makes it highly possible that another race has already been through this process of creating games that are indistinguishable from real life and has actually created the world in which we live, according to Musk.
“It would seem to follow that the odds that we're in 'base reality' is one in billions,” he said.
This may be unnerving to some, but Musk said that it has a positive angle because our improvement suggests that the world that’s controlling us is healthy and functioning.
“If civilisation stops advancing that may be due to some calamitous event that erases civilisation. So maybe we should be hopeful that this is a simulation.”
Musk, who oversees Space X and Tesla, is perhaps well placed to offer such outlandish theories as he seeks to push into new areas of technological understanding.
He has previously raised concerns with the development of artificial intelligence systems, warning that they could become the weapons of the future in an open letter also signed by Stephen Hawking and Apple co-founder Steve Wosniak.
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