89th richest man in the world thinks games will soon be “indistinguishable from reality” | PCGamesN

89th richest man in the world thinks games will soon be “indistinguishable from reality”

Pong

The man responsible for Tesla - the car company, not the late 19th century Austrian scientist - is exceedingly rich and thinks we’re probably all living in a simulated universe. The $13 billion net-worth Elon Musk believes that, given we’re only 40 years removed from two rectangles and a circle going over a line, it’s inevitable that graphical quality will become close to reality soon. His takeaway from that is the chances of us not living in some sort of hellish alien simulation (it would explain Monday mornings) are “billions to one.”

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“Now 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.” Musk says.

“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,” he continues, though the facts of this may be up for debate given the noticeable drop in improvements year on year.

Getting to the meat of the matter, he concludes 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 that we're in base reality is one in billions.”

This isn’t a wholly Musk-only theory, as the idea that our reality may be simulated has been around as long as computers. There’s a long, complicated, only slightly boring Wikipedia article about it. However, there are a couple of holes - it would require equal advancement in AI, for example, and pure computational power to keep all the birds flapping away, no matter how pretty they may be. Plus, well, why?

Still, lovely thought to go to bed with isn’t it? None of this exists and, as we know, videogames can’t keep back the abyss, even at 4K.

Cheers, MCV.

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Malentor avatarAnAuldWolf avatar
Malentor Avatar
32
1 Year ago

"That which can be asserted without evidence, can also be dismissed without evidence" - Hitchens. Sure, you might think that it's fun to consider, but it's useless speculation, like so much "philosophy" in this day and age. The cult that has formed around Musk is tiresome and counterproductive, especially in futurist circles.

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AnAuldWolf Avatar
869
1 Year ago

I'm no fan of Musk. I honestly think he's a bit of an idiot whenever he talks about artificial intelligence, but honestly, that's just something that someone who isn't familiar with the sciences involved would think.

You should read into the theory regarding reality essentially being a projection of a two-dimensional surface, which has growing evidence behind it to support it and allows many other theories to make sense if it's true. And if that base theory is true, then it lends much credence to the idea that reality itself is indeed simulated.

And evidence is not the be all and end all. Tectonic plates is but one example. A 'crazy person' insinuated that they could indeed shift long before it was accepted into science, they were dismissed as they lacked evidence at the time. The truth is? They were unfortunately just smarter than other people at the time, this happens a lot.

Evidence is sometimes just for people who need to stop and feel things with their hands in order to believe it. But sometimes, when dealing with the upper echelons of theoretical physics, there simply isn't any physics other than bullshit math which sometimes makes other bullshit math make sense.

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Malentor Avatar
32
1 Year ago

Nobody is trying to silence the man, though, so he's free to put out any crazy idea he wants - just like your tectonics example, until he produces some evidence, it's speculation; basically useless. He's not the first to come up with this idea, either, which is what prompted my initial reaction. That being said, physicists still search for proof, no matter the complexity of their ideas, as this proof is useful to further progress in both their own and related fields.

The odd crazy idea might very well turn out to be correct from time to time, but it is far better to stay critical until sufficient evidence has been supplied, than to accept every crazy idea right off the bat. There's a reason most of the free world started moving further and further away from nonsensical superstitious religion, after the scientific method was established as a successful method of understanding the universe, and it's because of the power of evidence.

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