Elon Musk, famous CEO of several revolutionary companies, is no stranger to egregious statements. In fact, it's not the first time he has seen him argue that we all probably live in a simulation . Between not exactly brilliant financial companies and space races , the tycoon continues to be talked about. The first time he said that perhaps mankind lives in a simulation, it was 2021. On that occasion, in fact, he was at CodeCon 2021, and the answer to the question about real life simulation left no doubts. He said quietly that "There is a one in a billion chance that this is true reality."
The other evidence of Musk's idea
Elon also stated his thoughts on different occasions, around fairs or talk shows and podcasts. In addition to these interviews, the statements of third parties who reaffirmed the opinion of the billionaire are also surprising. In particular, Devin Gordon appeared in the new BBC docuseries “The Elon Musk Show”, stating:
Grimes has told me repeatedly that Musk has this theory about her that isn't real. Grimes is a simulation that was created by him and exists in his cerebral cortex as a kind of perfect match for him. His interests are all the same as Elon's and his music is very tech oriented.
Also according to Gordon, Grimes would agree. Although it seems a bit crazy and creepy to him, she too said she feels like a perfect simulation for Elon.
Do we live in a computer simulation?
But what inspired Musk for his apparently so distressing thought? Despite his genius and visionary being, the famous CEO echoed Nick Bostrom. Swedish philosopher, in his paper dedicated to the question, he explains the concept of reality, or rather of the simulated universe, using various arguments. First of all that of relying on an important assumption.
The principle of independence from the substrate
The assumption, also known as the principle of independence of the support , is a possible response to the body-mind problem proposed by Bostrom himself. Considering consciousness as related to the brain, the principle states that consciousness is not attached to the very matter of the brain. Molecules and cells would thus not constitute the seat of awareness. Indeed, this should be found in the characteristics of the brain that can be reproduced . And what environment more familiar to us than that of a PC to be able to implement a possible conscience?
Bostrom therefore argues that, given the right computational structure, conscious experience is also associated with something other than the brain . Not only the biological one formed by carbon-based neural networks. Taking advantage of this argument, the Swedish philosopher lays the foundations of his theory of simulation.
A whole universe of simulated realities
If all of this is correct then it is probable that humanity, in the very distant future, will be able to simulate the consciousnesses, even of entire populations . And there would be no computational power issues. Indeed, as Bostrom states, such an advanced civilization could colonize entire planets with only the computational tools necessary for the simulation. According to him, humanity would be in one of these innumerable universes simulated by a group or more of computational units.
Do we live in a simulation? Elon vs. Nick
According to Nick Bostrom's theory there are three possibilities:
- Humanity will be extinct before he can create a simulation of this magnitude.
- Any post-human civilization is probably not interested in simulating earlier ones.
- We already live in a simulation
Musk believes we have only a very small chance for scenarios 1 or 2, while Bostrom thinks that for the third, it's about 20% . According to the Swede, these results suggest naturalistic analogies to certain traditional religious concepts. Basically if we live in a simulation, in his opinion there is a superior being, but very similar to us. This led Elon Musk to exciting but time-consuming reflections. Which is why he will never talk about it if he is taking a hot bath, according to what he says.