Elon Musk

Elon Musk Says We're Likely Living In a Video Game. Are We?

Elon Musk Says We're Likely Living In a Video Game. Are We?

Elon Musk, chief executive officer of Tesla Motors Inc.

Image credit: Bloomberg | Getty Images

Quick. Stop what you’re doing and look around. Everything you see, think and feel is fake. You’re living in a video game coded by intellectually elite robot overlords.

Don’t laugh. It’s entirely possible, so says billionaire futurist Elon Musk.


 

According to Musk, rapid advancements in video game technology mean we’ve moved from Pong to augmented reality in a short span of decades. We’ve moved so quickly, and tech has advanced so much, our own reality might not be distinguishable from a simulation.

Related: This Is What Being Asleep at the Wheel of a Tesla Model S Looks Like … We Think

He said, "If you assume any rate of improvement at all, then games will become indistinguishable from reality.” Given that rate, he says, the chance we’re not living a simulation is actually quite small.

You bet the far-out founder of Tesla and SpaceX has pondered the possibility a lot. “I’ve had so many simulation discussions it’s crazy,” he told The Verge co-founder Josh Topolsky last night at Recode’s Code Conference. Because he’s Elon. Freaking. Musk. Of course he has.

ICYMI, since Plato first floated the theory in Republic, for millennia, many a physicist and philosopher has wondered if the universe is just one big simulation.

And it’s not necessarily a terrifying future. Says Musk, such simulations are necessary for society to continue to evolve and exist. Just don’t bring it up if you’re ever in a hot tub with him. “Yeah, because that really kills the magic,” he joked from the conference stage in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. “It’s not the sexiest conversation.” Neither is the shooting the breeze about artificially intelligent robots rising up and wiping us out. Just saying.  

Related: Musk Expects an Apple Car by 2020, Fears One Company's AI Use

Hey, you never know. We really might be living in a simulated realm. After all, Harvard’s Odyssey supercomputer can whip up 14 billion simulated years of cosmic evolution in onlly three short months, everything is math and, therefore, can be broken down into binary code and it’s possible that God is a brilliant programmer. You do the math.    

Or not. Stop your brain from hurting and zone out on the clip below instead, like we did. It features last night’s almost four-minute philosophical chinwag between Musk and Topolsky. The simulation puppet masters command you to watch it and you shall obey.

Oh, and keep your eyes peeled for the glitch in the matrix, man. And be glad you’re not living in Blastar, the 8-bit spaceship shooter game Musk created when he was a 12. You’d be bored out of your gourd.
Edition: December 2016

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