Elon Musk’s Question for Super-Smart AI: What’s Outside the Simulation?

Elon Musk chooses the red pill.

4. 16. 19 by Victor Tangermann
Duncan Hull/Victor Tangermann
Image by Duncan Hull/Victor Tangermann

Wake Up, Neo

In an interview with MIT researcher Lex Fridman, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk reiterated his belief that we’re all living inside a simulation.

When Fridman asked him what his first question would be for the first-ever artificial general intelligence system, Musk replied: “What’s outside the simulation?”

Pong of my People

Musk has floated the possibility that we’re all living in a “The Matrix” style simulation for several years. During a 2016 interview at a tech conference, Musk asserted that there’s “a one in billions chance we’re in base reality.”

The argument: video games have evolved from a “Pong, two rectangles and a dot” he told audiences at the 2016 conference, to “photorealistic 3D simulations with millions of people playing simultaneously.” Given enough time, those games would become “indistinguishable from reality.”


Next Level

For Musk, human reality amounts to a computer simulation created by greater forces — the extent to which he actually prescribes to this theory is hard to tell. But he has voiced concern about all-powerful AI. He has even argued that AI is “far more dangerous than nukes” at a different tech conference in 2018.

“The singularity for this level of the simulation is coming soon,” Musk replied to a tweet by the official Twitter account of the television show Rick and Morty in 2017. “I wonder what the levels above us look like.”

READ MORE: Elon Musk Reveals the One Question He Would Ask a Human-Level A.I. [Inverse]

More on the simulation hypothesis: MIT Prof: It’s More Likely We’re Living in a Simulation Than Not


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