The strongest argument for us probably being in a simulation is the following:
40 years ago we had pong. Two rectangles and a dot. That’s what games were. Now 40 years later we have photo 3D realistic simulations with millions of people praying simultaneously. And its getting better every year. And soon we will have virtual reality and augmented reality. If you assume any rate of improvement at all then the games will becomes indistinguishable from reality (me – not true. Linear improvement yes, but not decreasing increments). Even if that rate of advancement drops by 100 from what it is right now. Then you just imagine its 10,000 years into the future. Which is nothing in the evolutionary scale. So given we are on a trajectory to have games that are indistinguishable from reality. And those games could be played on any set top box or PC. Or whatever.l And there would probably be billions of such computers or set top boxes. It would seem to follow that the odds that we are in base reality is 1 in a billions. Tell me whats wrong with that argument?
1) What if its not linear improvement, but decreasing increments. What if Mores law does not hold. What if it turns out that it takes longer and longer to build simulations that are more realistic? This equation is always getting bigger in y as time t increases but it never gets to 1.
y = 1 – 1/t
So we could get better and better simulations but never get totally realistic ones.
2) Where does the figure 1 in a billions come from? Its arbitrary. There are far too many assumptions here. Who says there is only one universe? Why would we think AI is doable in all of them? How on earth can you calculate the probability for such a thing?
3) Brilliant point made by someone in the comments section:
The only problem with Elon Musks statement is that if we are in a simulation, he’s basing his analysis of if we are on how fast technology advances in a simulation, and technology could advance at a different rate in the “real world”..
But it does highlight something. How do we know the universe is real? Science cannot tell us. In fact if you take this guys argument as sound (which I can’t see that it is) science tells us that we are not in a real universe. We need another source of reliable knowledge to inform us that this universe is in fact real? What is that? Can we be sure we are not 10 levels down in an inception like dream simulation?
Now here is the thing. I know we are not in a simulation because I have another source of truth to draw on. What about you?
More on this in the God Puzzle.
The above quote comes from here.
Either we are going to create simulations that are indistinguishable from reality or civilisation will cease to exist. Those are the two options.