TECH

We're Probably All Living Inside An Alien's Giant Computer Game Says Musk

"End program."

02/06/2016 15:37 | Updated 04 June 2016

Elon Musk is an acutely intelligent human being.

So when the Tesla founder turns round and says there's a mere 'one in billions' chance that we're not all living inside a giant alien simulation, it's at least a comment worthy of a few moments reflection.

Well that's precisely what the entrepreneur did when asked by Verge founder and journalist Joshua Topolsky.

Indeed the concept that we are in fact just all one big computer program is something that Musk has thought about rather a lot.

"I've had so many simulation discussions it's crazy." he said

"My brother and I finally agreed that we would ban such conversations if we were even in a hot tub, because that would kill the magic."

ClaudioVentrella via Getty Images

Thankfully Musk wasn't in a hot tub at the time but speaking on a panel at Recode's Code Conference 2016.

As such he continued his argument, saying "The strongest argument is the following: That 40 years ago we had "Pong" - two rectangles and a dot. That's what games were, now 40 years later we have photorealistic 3D simulations with millions of people playing and it's getting better every year."

"If you assume any rate of improvement at all then the games will become indistinguishable from reality."

Inti St Clair via Getty Images

Musk is of course referring to Moore's law, the famous equation which has become the crystal ball for predicting how quickly new technologies will be developed.

Taking this into account, and then factoring the sheer size and age of our current universe and Musk, quite fairly, points out that it's definitely not impossible. 

When pushed he finally gets specific saying, "It would seem to follow that the odds that we're in a base reality is one in billions."

Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that Musk had said there was a "one in billions" chance of us being in a simulation. This was incorrect, he actually said there was a "one in billions" chance that we are not in a simulation. The sentence has been amended.

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