10. 10. Are You Living In A Computer Simulation? (2003)

By Nick Bostrom

This paper argues that at least one of the following propositions is true: (1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage; (2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof); (3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. It follows that the belief that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor‐simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation. A number of other consequences of this result are also discussed.

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(00:19) Abstract

(01:11) Section 1. Introduction

(04:08) Section 2. The Assumption of Substrate-independence

(06:32) Section 3. The Technological Limits of Computation

(15:53) Section 4. The Core of the Simulation Argument

(16:58) Section 5. A Bland Indifference Principle

(22:57) Section 6. Interpretation

(35:22) Section 7. Conclusion

(36:53) Acknowledgements

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