- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 2, 2016

SpaceX and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk told an audience on Wednesday that there is a “one-in-billions” chance humanity does not exist within a computer simulation.

Mr. Musk made the pronouncement while fielding questions at Recode’s annual Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. The May 31 through June 2 event brings together the technology industry’s most influential people to discuss complex issues.

“The strongest argument for us probably being in a simulation is the following,” Mr. Musk said. “Forty years ago we had pong — like, two rectangles and a dot. That was what games were. Now, 40 years later, we have photo-realistic 3-D simulation with millions of people playing simultaneously — and it’s getting better every year. Soon will have virtual reality. … If you assume any rate of improvement at all, then the games will become indistinguishable from reality.”

The entrepreneur then asked his audience to imagine what humans would accomplish within the next 10,000 years.

“It would seem to follow that the odds that we’re in base reality is one-in-billions. Tell me what’s wrong with that argument. Is there a flaw in that argument? […] There’s a one-in-billions chance this is base reality. … 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.”

Mr. Musk also predicted that humans would be on Mars by 2025 and that artificial intelligence may turn people into glorified “house cats.”

“I don’t love the idea of being a house cat,” he said, USA Today reported Thursday.

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