While speaking at Recode’s Code Conference 2016, Musk was asked whether life could be some form of simulation, and the businessman provided a remarkably thorough response.
“If you assume any rate of improvement at all,” Musk said, “then the games will become indistinguishable from reality, even if that rate of advancement drops by a thousand from what it is now. Then you just say, okay, let's imagine it's 10,000 years in the future, which is nothing on the evolutionary scale.”
He continued: “So given that we're clearly on a trajectory to have games that are indistinguishable from reality, and those games could be played on any set-top box or on a PC or whatever, and there would probably be billions of such computers or set-top boxes, it would seem to follow that the odds that we're in base reality is one in billions.”
One in billions? Look, I love The Matrix, but in no way, shape, or form am I comfortable with the idea of actually living in it.
And yet, Musk went on to suggest that if the world as we know it isn’t a simulation, it would soon stop functioning.
“We should hope that that's true, because if civilization stops advancing, that may be due to some calamitous event that erases civilization,” he said. “So maybe we should be hopeful this is a simulation, because otherwise we are going to create simulations indistinguishable from reality or civilization ceases to exist. We're unlikely to go into some multimillion-year stasis.”
So either we’re characters in a video game or the apocalypse is upon us?! I think I’ll take the blue pill on this one, Elon.
Check out Musk’s full explanation below: