Top analysts at the Bank of America claim there is a 20 to 50% chance our world is a computer simulation and we are all living in Matrix-style virtual reality.
The report also reckons that if our world was an illusion, there’s no way we will ever find out about it. Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch backed the claim by citing comments from leading philosophers, scientists and other thinkers.
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“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. SpaceX founder Elon Musk is one of those who believes our world is run by artificial intelligence created by a future civilization.
The claims are backed by the work of a philosophy professor Nick Bostrom from the University of Oxford. Bostrom’s 2003 paper concluded that there’s a high possibility we “live in a simulation”.
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Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson also maintains the likelihood of the universe being a simulation “may be very high”. Philosophers from the 16th century, notably René Descartes, have suggested we cannot rely on our sensory experiences to perceive the world. “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,” the research noted added.
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“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.
This article originally appeared on The Independent