The Swedish philosopher Nick Bostrom argues that the world we live in might be a computer simulation, and therefore nothing is real. Here we will take a closer look at the so-called “simulation argument”.
The theory is based on statistical probability, and is based on the assumption that computer technology will continue to evolve. Bostrom believes that technological developments in areas such as artificial intelligence in the future could lead to computer simulations that are so real that the simulations themselves think they are for real.
We are far from that technological possibilities today, but who knows what we are able to about 1000, 100,000 or millions of years.
Bostrom see three different future scenarios:
1. The first is that the human species go extinct before we developed the ability to simulate human consciousness. Everything is fine, no simulation will take place.
2. The second option means that the technology can be developed, but due to such moral or legal reasons will never be tried. This scenario looks Bostrom himself as the least likely, since a technique that would be interesting to mankind. But it is after all a possibility.
The third option is that we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. The number of simulated worlds will probably be large, had you not been tempted by running a simulation running on your computer and see how “the people” are developed and ponder life’s mysteries?
Which of the above options do you see as most likely? Have you answered option three , you have also just “proved” that we all find ourselves in such a simulation. For what would be the likelihood that precisely we belong to the real world, when there may be thousands, if not millions of simulated worlds? Statistically, it is almost non-existent. Each simulation in turn developed so far as to create their own simulations, and that it therefore can be multiple levels of reality.
Some researchers argue in fact that we are not further away than a few decades from being able to simulate conscious life. But to simulate an entire world would of course require huge capacity, but perhaps not as much as we first imagine. Instead of simulating the world in detail, you only need to simulate it going to perceive. Other galaxies and planets need not be simulated in greater detail than the bright spots seen from Earth, and the microscopic world need only be simulated in detail when someone sees it.
Please read Nick Bostrom’s article on www.simulation-argument.com/simulation.pdf