Elon Reeve Musk is a South African-born Canadian-American engineer, business magnate, and inventor. He is the co-founder and product architect of Tesla Motors; co-chairman of OpenAI; co-founder of PayPal; founder, CEO and CTO of SpaceX; co-founder and Chairman of SolarCity, and co-founder of Zip2.
As of April 2016, Elon Musk has an estimated net worth of US$12.3 billion, making him the 68th richest person in the US.
He has stated that the goals of Tesla Motors, SolarCity, and SpaceX revolve around his vision to change humanity and the world. His goals include reducing global warming through sustainable energy production and consumption and reducing the “risk of human extinction” by “making life multi-planetary” by setting up a human colony on planet Mars.
Speaking at tech publication Recode’s annual Code Conference Wednesday night, Elon Musk suggested human beings are not actual flesh-and-blood participants in the physical world but are instead pawns in a computer-generated video game produced by some more-advanced and as of yet unknown civilization.
Elon Musk’s argument actually claims that since video game technology is increasing at an exponential rate, someday we will create simulated people with awareness. And if that happens, we will presumably have the computing technology to run so many simulations that the simulated conscious people will exceed the biologically created conscious people.
So at that point, it’s just a numbers game, and there’s a very slight chance that any one individual person was born rather than simulated.
”If you assume any rate of improvement at all, 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.”
Elon Musk continues ”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 are one in billions.
Tell me what’s wrong with that argument. Is there a flaw in that argument?”
He also claims that as AI improves, we will need to augment their brain power with digital technology.
”Under any rate of advancement in AI (artificial intelligence), we will be left behind by a lot. The benign situation with ultra-intelligent AI is that we would be so far below in intelligence we’d be like a pet or a house cat.”