In 2003, Oxford University professor Nick Bostrom suggested that our reality is a computer simulation invented by a highly developed civilization. This idea captivated many, and since then scientists around the world have been trying to either prove or disprove this theory.
Do you believe that life is a matrix? If yes, then the new work of the professor at Columbia University will definitely make you look more carefully for "system glitches".
In Bostrom's Proof of Simulation article, which is considered the main work in the field of Simulation Hypotheses, the author proposes the following three statements, of which at least one is definitely true:
- It is highly likely that humanity will die out before it reaches the "posthuman" phase.
- Every posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of its evolutionary history.
- We are almost certainly living in a computer simulation.
Columbia University astronomer David Kipping took a close look at these propositions, known as the Bostroma trilemma, and proved that there is a 50% chance that we are actually living in a simulation.
Kipping began his calculations by turning the trilemma into a dilemma. He tied the first two positions together, since in both cases the end result is no simulation. Thus, the dilemma contrasts the physical hypothesis (no simulations) with the simulation hypothesis. So the scientist assigned to the models the so-called a priori probability, that is, the probability at which there is no knowledge that supports the onset of each of these models. In this case, each of the theories gets a 50% probability.
The next stage of analysis required an understanding of realities that can give rise to other realities and those that cannot imitate the reality of offspring. If the physical hypothesis (that is, the one in which the simulation does not exist) were correct, then the probability that we live in a barren universe would be easy to calculate: it would be 100%. Kipping then showed that even in the simulation hypothesis, most of the simulated realities would be sterile. This is because as simulations generate new realities, the computational resources available to each successive generation are reduced to the point that the vast majority of future realities will not be able to have the computational power needed to simulate subsequent simulations.
After complex calculations, the astronomer concludes that the probability that we are living in a simulation is equal to the probability that we are in the physical world. But if people ever come up with such a "virtual reality", these calculations will radically change.