Bank of America: “Our world is a Matrix-style virtual reality and everything we experience is just a simulation”

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Bank of America analysts think there’s a 50 per cent chance we live in The Matrix

Report cites SpaceX founder Elon Musk and Oxford philosophy professor Nick Bostrom

  • Jacob Furedi
    INDEPENDENT
the-matrix.jpgHumans are forced to negotiate a machine-controlled simulated reality in The Matrix Rex Features

Analysts at Bank of America have reportedly suggested there is a 20 to 50 per cent chance our world is a Matrix-style virtual reality and everything we experience is just a simulation.

The report, which was issued to clients, also implies even if our world was an illusion, we would never know about it.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch backed up the claims by citing comments from leading philosophers, scientists and other thinkers.

BANK OF AMERICA: There’s a 20%-50% chance we’re inside the matrix and reality is just a simulation Myles Udland pic.twitter.com/TltpYbjPxI

— Sanguine (@laginchey) September 8, 2016

“It is conceivable that with advancements in artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and computing power, members of future civilizations could have decided to run a simulation of their ancestors,” the report stated.

The analysts took inspiration from inventor and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, who believes there is a high probability the world is part of an artificial intelligence created by a future civilisation.

Elon Musk – The chance that we are not living in a computer simulation is ‘one in billions’

Its claims also appeal to the work of a philosophy professor from the University of Oxford. In 2003, Professor Nick Bostrom concluded there is significant possibility we “live in a simulation”.

Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson also maintains the likelihood of the universe being a simulation “may be very high”.

Philosophers dating back to the 16th century, notably René Descartes, have suggested we cannot rely on our sense experiences to perceive the world.

The Bank of America’s report, which was looking at the implications of virtual reality, explained: “Many scientists, philosophers, and business leaders believe that there is a 20-50 per cent probability that humans are already living in a computer-simulated virtual world.

“In April 2016, researchers gathered at the American Museum of Natural History to debate this notion. The argument is that we are already approaching photorealistic 3D simulations that millions of people can simultaneously participate in.”

In the 1999 film The Matrix, humans live in a simulated reality created by machines to control the human population.

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http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/bank-of-america-the-matrix-50-per-cent-virtual-reality-elon-musk-nick-bostrom-a7287471.html

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BANK OF AMERICA: There’s a 20%-50% chance we’re inside the matrix and reality is just a simulation

The thing is: We’d never know it anyway.

In a note to clients out Tuesday, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said there’s a 20%-50% chance that we’re living in the matrix — meaning that the world we experience as “real” is actually just a simulation.

The firm cites comments from Elon Musk, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Nick Bostrom’s seminal paper on the issue as the basis for its 20%-50% view.

Screen Shot 2016 09 08 at 11.05.45 AMBAML

Here’s BAML (emphasis added):

“Many scientists, philosophers, and business leaders believe that there is a 20-50% probability that humans are already living in a computer-simulated virtual world. In April 2016, researchers gathered at the American Museum of Natural History to debate this notion. The argument is that we are already approaching photorealistic 3D simulations that millions of people can simultaneously participate in. It is conceivable that with advancements in artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and computing power, members of future civilizations could have decided to run a simulation of their ancestors.”

BAML also notably highlights Nick Bostrom’s three probable scenarios for the human race, which are 1. extinction before reaching a “posthuman” stage, 2. reaching posthuman existence but not simulating evolutionary history, and 3. we are in the matrix already.

Reading Bostrom’s 2003 paper, however, makes clear we’d never really have access to full knowledge of any of these scenarios because, as Bostrom concludes, “Unless we are now living in a simulation, our descendants will almost certainly never run an ancestor-simulation.”

This “if true, then true, otherwise false” construct means none of this philosophical struggle really matters anyway.

We’re either in the matrix or we’re not. And if we’re not, we’re unlikely to create the matrix because if the matrix were plausible it would’ve been created anyway. And we’d be in it.

The investment implications remain unclear.

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http://www.businessinsider.com/bank-of-america-wonders-about-the-matrix-2016-9

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