Do you live in a computer simulation? This was the title of the philosopher and Nick Boston. Now the iconic paper published by bostrom in 2003 sparked shock waves through the academic world through popular culture and even the religion that his paper suggested, nothing more than a distant and whimsical perspective. There is a serious possibility that we and all of us. We will see. The whole simulation of an advanced civilization. So convincing was Boston's newspaper that a 2016 New York article reported that many in Silicon Valley were obsessed with the idea. And these two nameless billionaires had secretly hired teams of scientists to try to break out of simulation technology. Magnate Elon Musk has also publicly shared his personal fascination with the idea, including his belief that the probability that we will live in base reality is one in billions. Why did prominent people take scientists and philosophers with them? Seriously? The seemingly bizarre possibility. Is it true? And what could it mean if ever more powerful and sophisticated computers were used over the past 50 years? Humans have created an increasingly realistic virtual world, as far as anyone can currently judge? There is nothing standing in the way of these simulated realities that many improve forever. Now imagine a time when these virtual worlds become so realistic that it might be impossible for us to tell the difference between virtual worlds and basic reality if we did not have direct knowledge. This begs the worrying question. How do we know we aren't already? Could this have already happened in a simulation? Could we live in what Bostrom calls an ancestor? Simulation, a creation of an advanced civilization that is supposed to examine its own past for truth. Advanced civilizations can have innumerable reasons for such simulations and would likely generate astronomical numbers from them. So it seems to be following. Have all beings in existence. Distance. An overwhelming majority of them would inhabit simulations. The likelihood that we will occupy the fundamental reality therefore seems to be very small indeed. The simulation argument. In his work, Bostrom explains. Three sentences, at least one of which is arguing, must be true. The first thesis is that all technological civilizations collapse or die out before they reach technological one. The suggestion for maturity is that civilizations can reach technological maturity, but for some reason never create the kind of simulations that might resemble our world. If we reject either of these two sentences, Bostrom argues that we have to accept his third final sentence that we are almost certainly living in a simulation. We'll explore this flashy possibility and its wide-ranging implications, but to get a better sense of its likelihood, we'll first take a closer look at the other two sentences, The First Great. Altar. The first sentence is this. Nations can never reach technological maturity and therefore are never given the opportunity to do ancestral simulations first. This suggestion seems unlikely. We live in a universe of hundreds of billions of galaxies and innumerable trillions of star systems. Each of them could be home to a burgeoning technological civilization. What then could prevent all civilizations from reaching this level of technological maturity? At the outset, the notion that all civilizations fail to reach technological maturity seems grossly pessimistic. So why consider this option? One suggested answer is that there are simply no other intelligent civilizations in the universe. Proponents of this view rely on the mysterious observation known as the Fermi Paradox that the universe around us appears strangely silent. Our universe was habitable for life long before our solar system. Even if the time has come, it would seem that more than enough time has passed in the universe for advanced intelligent civilizations to show an obvious presence in our galaxy. Yet we see no evidence of burgeoning Type 3 civilizations or their galactic megastructures, the evidence of which is likely to waft across our skies. What explains this eerie silence is the proposed answer that there are stages of development between a nerd matter and advanced intelligent life that are astronomically so rare that they prevent all or almost all of life from ascending beyond it. Such phases may have been referred to as great filters on our journey to discovery. There weights are a great filter in the form. From advanced technology. So destructive and unstoppable that it annihilates any civilization it discovers. Some even argue that such technologies have already arrived in the form of nuclear weapons. Perhaps all technological civilizations, without exception, in their pursuit of an ever better understanding of physical reality. Discover the tremendous energy released by the splitting of the atom in the subsequent development of this seductive power. They introduced a permanent existential threat that invariably leads to their ultimate annihilation. If it is true that this or any other technology represents a certain existential catastrophe, ancestral simulations could never arise. If all intelligent civilizations are doomed to self-destruction, then the good news is that we are likely to be living in the base reality. However, in the real world, the bad news is that we are probably not far from self-destructive, but a great filter could also exist behind us. Maybe it's the origin of life. One candidate is the initial formation of reproductive molecules, RNA, which are the basis of all biological life on earth. It has been suggested that this was due to accidental molecular collisions. The formation of RNA could be astronomically unlikely. In that case, intelligent technological civilizations could be so rare that we could possibly be the only one that exists for many, including me. This is an amazing claim, and we are rightly skeptical, having informed the entire neutral density filter hypothesis of the paradox. However, many believe that the Fermi Paradox is ultimately misleading evidence that other civilizations could be far more subtle than we originally imagined as intelligent life evolves. Only once in 10 million galaxies would there be thousands of advanced civilizations that are entirely undetectable by us, but any number of which could arise. Countless simulations, maybe our descendants will build a matryoshka brain. An outstanding mega-structure that surrounds the sun and generates immense computing power with its energy. Such structures could potentially run an astronomical number of simulations, and yet a matryoshka brain could be all but invisible to its galactic neighbors. The universe, which we consider to be very old, is indeed an extremely early stage in its general viability. In around 14 billion years, the universe will remain habitable for much longer. Some stars will live many billions of years. The current age of the universe. There will also be many generations of such long-lived stars, as intelligent life arose at least once in those very early moments in the universe's existence. Hence, there seems to be a good chance that other civilizations will emerge in their quick future. And since this is related to the simulation argument, from our point of view it is not important that these civilizations could exist in the future, as we could very well be simulations of their ancient past for our present purposes. All that matters is the possibility of their eventual existence. Suggestion not to run simulations. I'm going to move to Boston now. Second sentence that civilizations can reach technological maturity and yet never write simulations that could resemble our world, as in the first sentence. At first glance, this seems very unlikely. Indeed. Presumably, simulations would allow their creators to examine a wide variety of questions. Scientific Sociological Cosmological Even in advanced philosophical simulations, laboratories would answer questions they could. Well, be inconceivable like us. In many ways, simulations would be the ultimate theory checkers, as given the tremendous utility of such simulations, architects would have complete control over all conditions. We wonder what plausible reasons civilizations could be prevented from doing this. One possibility is that simulations of a type that might resemble our world are impossible. Given the progressive realism of our own simulated worlds. This suggestion seems unlikely. So why take it seriously? There are at least two reasons why real ancestral simulations might be impossible. The first reason is that simulating a universe like ours would be computationally impossible, since simulating every fine-grained detail from the level of probabilistic subatomic particles to massive galaxies would be so computationally intensive that even the most advanced technological civilization, physicists, would not Michio Kaku rejects the national hypothesis for precisely this reason and points out that the only information processor that has the task of simulating a universe is the universe itself. This objection may or may not be true, but it also overlooks the fact that it is convincing. The simulation would not have to render every detail of the universe. Rather only those that have been observed from distant visible galaxies. For example, depending on the weather, only a small amount of information can be compressed. Observers pay attention similarly to video games, where objects and scenes are rendered. Only when a virtual avatar interacts with him. A simulation could drastically reduce the computation costs by only rendering the parts of the simulation that are not directly relevant. Would you have to render the universe's long past or the timelines of the entities that inhabit it? Memories could be implanted to give the impression of continuity. If only this simulation could only be a few moments old. When the architects want to create a simulation that appears identical to our world. It would just have to manipulate the conscious experiences of its residents. This brings us to the second possible reason why such simulations might be impossible, that is, bostrom's argument, which involves more than creating a hyper-realistic world. It evokes conscious residents who came from the simulation in The Matrix films. The human inhabitants of the matrix remain connected to physical bodies. You stay in the tempo reality of the Boston reasoning. However, the residents are still instantiated in the simulation itself. There are reasons to believe that it is impossible to simulate a consciousness this way, but why could it be? First of all, it must be said that we are now. Don't understand consciousness how it exists or why we have it. Indeed, consciousness is one of the greatest puzzles, we know how biological organisms aggregate, and inner subjective experience is a millennia-old question that has made even our most advanced neurosciences no less mysterious. What the philosopher David Chalmers called the difficult problem of consciousness has yet to be solved without a clear indication of what a solution to this puzzle would look like. In recent years more and more scientists and philosophers have deliberately argued this. We have encountered an impasse that highlights the limits of our current materialistic science and that in order to truly understand consciousness we may need to go beyond our current materialistic assumptions. In fact, Chalmers and several other scientists argue that we should take seriously the possibility that consciousness is indeed some sort of fundamental property that science may need to expand to include when your map explains consciousness. In terms of the existing fundamentals, space-time mass charge. Then of course you have to expand the list. The natural thing is to postulate consciousness itself as a fundamental building block of nature. While this may or may not be true. It could also be the case that digital simulations are simply the wrong kind of substrate to instantiate consciousness. For example, the digital language of computation is its basis, purely syntactically, the inner take qualities that are unique to consciousness can live forever beyond what can be realized through digital computation. Digital simulations can potentially create a behaviorally identical representation of a mind. Whether or not these simulations can achieve the inner quality of consciousness remains open. Bostrom's argument focuses on being in the computer simulation. But if, as the neuroscientist Christof Koch put it, consciousness cannot be calculated, then we as unmistakably conscious beings cannot live in a computer simulation. But what about another type of simulation that is worthwhile? Remember, our brains are conscious in one way or another. Furthermore, in a sense, our brains are reality simulators of a human experience of how our brains reach them. This feat remains a mystery to us, and yet a much more advanced civilization would likely have a much more advanced science of consciousness. Perhaps one that goes well beyond our current materialist, some actions should turn out to be a fundamental property of reality. Advanced civilizations May there be no less developed technologies to convey this conscious inwardness as they wish. Similarly, unless awareness is computational, we cannot rule out the larger notion that we are in some sort of simulated reality. Opiate beyond our current scientific paradigm. If we proceed under the speculative assumption that mind support simulations are possible.
Then we must now consider what reasons and what advanced civilization it could have for failing to make it, ethical impasse In the broadest sense, your objections may be for ethical reasons. A more advanced civilization can operate under a comparatively more advanced ethic; After all, there seem to be many aspects of ethics that can be rationally inferred. Bostrom himself believes that intelligent civilizations in general can converge on certain ethical principles regarding the treatment of conscious beings in order to avoid boundaries. Suffering as an obvious example. Perhaps the convergence between advanced intelligences prevents the creation of made-up realities from which conscious beings can suffer. Perhaps by the time simulations become possible, advanced societies have already enacted a tough law preventing them from being formed. If this concept of ethical convergence is plausible, we will find ourselves in the residents. Reality of much. Apparently, unnecessary suffering could lead us to be in a simulation. We will come back to this possibility. But this view, too, depends on the idea that future civilizations will always converge in their moral principles. While this has some plausibility, it is a crucial factor. In the simulation, the argument requires the strong assertion that would apply to any civilization without exception, because if only one civilization chooses that technology, there is a good chance that we will be alive. One of their simulations grows dramatically. Recall that Bostrom's second thesis is that civilizations reach technological maturity and yet they cannot create simulations that might resemble our world. With the first sentence it turns out that this is a lot more complicated than it seems at first glance. Bostrom's argument seems to suggest that we are almost certainly living in a simulated reality. And yes, on closer inspection, the other two sentences are very ambiguous. If the Fermi Paradox suggests that advanced civilizations are astronomically rare, make big filters and constrain the ian of life from inert matter. Could consciousness withstand simulation, and could ethical convergence prevent simulations from being made with conscious beings? Boström himself makes these ambiguities clear and assigns an approximately equal probability to his three sentences. As he quotes in the dark forest of our present ignorance, it seems reasonable to a certain extent. Credibility roughly equal between 1, 2 and and quotation. It seems Elon Musk's surprising assertion that the chances that we are living in the base reality are one. Billions can be replaced by much more conservative ones. One in three is a real opportunity that we should take very seriously. So let's take this possibility of living in a simulation seriously. What would be the broader implications? What could it mean for us? A simulated reality. It is sometimes implied that when we live in a simulation we are living in a false world and a meaningless existence trapped in a false reality. But if the simulation hypothesis is correct, we can see this too. As a further discovery that reality is far, stranger more subtle. This intelligence is deeper than we imagined and leads to nested realities to live in a fake world of fake experiences. We could see ourselves as inhabitants of the inner, fractal growth of reality itself. If we are simulated minds, we are unmistakably aware. As the philosopher Rene Descartes famously noted, this is actually the only thing that a conscious simulated mind can never doubt. If such a thing is possible, it would still be a real mine with real experience and therefore an unmistakably real vector of increasing ethical concerns. Our experiences would be just as important as any experience in basic reality. The simulation hypothesis also provides a thought-provoking naturalistic way in which certain traditionally religious ideas could be true, including the fact that we live in an intelligently designed universe led by an omniscient almighty creator or creator.
In addition, depending on the type of simulation, other religious comparisons can be drawn if it turns out that consciousness cannot be simulated. There would still be many reasons for advanced beings to create realistic, simulated worlds and project their own consciousness into them. Such minds could have unimaginable new experiences, inhabit new identities, and otherwise freely explore the vast, unmapped regions of the state's realm of consciousness. And in all likelihood, they would have all sorts of reasons to be delayed. Really forget that you have an experience to choose from at some level. In this case, death may not be the end of our individual experience, but more like waking up in a higher dimensional reality, if at that point we remember that we are ready to participate. It is conceivable that in a populist future, more advanced civilizations. There can be billions of such simulations. Precious life. Perhaps even more numerous than those in basic reality. If we were such beings, we would be the inhabitants of another plane of reality that is more real than the one in which we are visitors to this world. After that, we will return home and evaluate our experience. Hence a form of reincarnation would be conceivable in which a collection of simulated lives becomes the experience of a single unit. Perhaps the gathering of new knowledge from the perspective of oneself through another conceivable, all mines within a simulation could actually become the matter experience of the individual conscious being, a simulation that can support conscious thoughts. Might also be aware of the individual thoughts, which are aspects of a much larger unified experience. Boström. The simulation argument caught the imagination of a generation of thinkers. It has found its way into popular culture and even into theology and religion. It's an argument that in a way came out of nowhere. And yet we have forced ourselves to review everything from its new perspective at the height of the digital age. The simulation argument emerges as a top metaphysical question in our computer paradigm, in which we, generations before us, viewed the world with the highest technology of our time. For what it's worth, I consider bostrom's argument to be correct. So far. That at least one of his three sentences must be true. Yet for every argument defended, there seems to be an equally coherent argument against it. When I set out to make this video, as a skeptic of digital consciousness, I expected a much clearer point of view than I did. I was expecting to fight our lives in a simulation, but I find it. It is difficult to rule out a broader one. Definition of a simulation that goes beyond the calculation. And maybe beyond our current materialistic paradigm. All I can say is I think we should take the opportunity to live in a simulation. Very seriously, that the simulation argument is another reminder of how mysterious reality is and that we should continue to be open to our situation in it. One perspective is that since our earliest manipulations we have simulated the physical world with primitive tools. We have outsourced shins and constructed our own realities. The creation of compelling virtual worlds could be seen as a stage in the maturation of this process if we survive this. So we are destined to become the architects of our inner reality and to freely explore the vast space of state consciousness. There is one final consideration that affects my personal intuitions regarding the simulation argument: we are living in a deeply unique moment in the history of our civilization when we first acquired the technological strength sufficient to destroy ourselves, and but without the wisdom to ensure it. If you don't go one way or the other, this period will be comparatively short, a few centuries at the most. The philosopher Toby ORD calls this moment of vulnerability the abyss and argues that this time we should survive. It will forever be remembered as one of the most significant moments in history when a civilization either takes the cloak of its vast cosmic future or succumbs to an existential catastrophe. It is precisely for this reason that all simulation architects would probably find this period extremely interesting for all sorts of reasons, including understanding our own origins of historical moments that we may be living through. I can imagine that it is no more likely to be simulated than ours.