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埃隆·马斯克说人类其实生活在模拟程序中 – 译学馆
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埃隆·马斯克说人类其实生活在模拟程序中

Why Elon Musk says we're living in a simulation

伊隆 · 马斯克认为 我们人类几乎可以肯定是生活在电脑模拟的世界里
Elon Musk thinks it’s almost certain that we are living in a computer simulation.
马斯克: 我们人类生活在真实世界的可能性仅有十亿分之一
“There’s a one in billions chance that this is base reality.”
他表示 人类基本上就是游戏 《模拟人生》 的高端版本
He says that humans are basically some advanced version of The Sims.
是的 这个想法听起来十分荒谬
Yes, that idea sounds pretty absurd.
但我们也不应该完全否定。 人们曾认为太阳系是这样运行的。 但在伽利略证实并非如此的两千年前
But we shouldn’t just write this off. People used to think the solar system worked like this. But almost 2000 years before Galileo proved it didn’t,
萨摩斯的阿里斯塔克斯(译注:古希腊天文学家)就提出了相同的看法 这在他的年代是很疯狂的。 眼见并非一定为实啊
Aristarchus of Samos posited the exact same, crazy idea. Reality is probably not as it seems.
在这方面 马斯克认同尼克 · 博斯特罗姆(译注:英国牛津大学哲学教授以及未来学家)在一篇论文中提出的观点…
Musk is echoing a paper on this theory by philosopher Nick Bostrom. His argument goes like this…
马斯克:40年前 我们有一款游戏叫《Pong》 里面就是两个长方形和一个点
“40 years ago we had Pong, like two rectangles and a dot.”
《Pong》推出后的30年 我们有了《模拟人生》
30 years after Pong, we got The Sims.
马斯克:40年后的今天 我们有高仿真的3D虚拟游戏 可以支持上百万玩家同时在线 而这项技术每年都在进步
“Now 40 years later, we have photorealistic 3D simulations with millions of people playing simultaneously and it’s getting better every year.”
让我们去一万年以后的未来看看
So let’s go about 10,000 years into the future
可能的情况是 我们会发现人类文明已然消失 原因是人类进步遇到了障碍
It’s possible that when we get there, civilization will be entirely gone because there is a ceiling to our advancement.
可能是全球变暖 或者可以自我复制的机器人导致的
Maybe it’s because of global warming — or self-replicating robots.
马斯克: 如果文明停止进步 可能是因为被突发灾难事件所抹杀
“…if civilization stops advancing, that may be due to some calamitous event that erases civilization.”
但另一种可能是 假如我们继续进步 假设物理世界均可被模拟
But another possibility is that if we keep advancing — and assuming everything in the physical world CAN be simulated —
最终 我们会对自身进行模拟
eventually, we’ll simulate ourselves.
地球上每个人的每条神经触突都会被模拟
Every synapse in entire human brain, for everyone on earth.
要获取能实现数十亿 “原生模拟” 的计算能力可能很难
Getting enough computing power to run billions of ancestor simulations could be a problem.
但博斯特罗姆认为 我们可以向其他星球发送小型可自我复制机器人 以把目标星球改造成巨型计算机
But Bostrom thinks we’d send tiny, self-replicating robots to other planets, which would turn the planet into a huge computer.
有的模拟文明可能会开始对它们自己进行模拟
And some of the simulations would start making their own simulations.
在这种情境下 可能存在着数十亿与我们一模一样的宇宙
In this scenario, there are billions of universes that are indistinguishable from our own.
这意味着 有一定可能我们就身处其中一个模拟宇宙中
That means, chances are, we are in one of the simulated universes.
相比其他可能性 也就是人类文明必将毁灭的可能 马斯克认为我们最好希望自己身处模拟世界当中
And given the other possibility — which is human civilization has an inevitable ceiling — Musk thinks we better HOPE that we’re in a simulation.
马斯克:要么是人类创建出与现实毫无二致的模拟世界 要么人类文明不复存在 只有这两个选项
“Either we’re going to create simulations that are indistinguishable from reality, or civilization will to cease to exist. Those are the two options.”
还有一种可能 也许未来的人们只是不想启动 “原生模拟”
There is one other —maybe future humans just don’t want to run ancestor simulations.
也许他们认为这么做是不道德的 因为这个世界充满了痛苦和不幸 而对模拟人类来说 这些痛苦与不幸又是真实存在的
Maybe they think it’s unethical, because there is a tremendous amount of suffering in the world. And that suffering would still feel real to simulated humans.
或者也许他们还有其他要紧的事
Or maybe they have other priorities.
那么现在简单总结一下 有三种可能: 一是人类在具备大规模模拟的能力前灭亡
So to recap, there are three possibilities. 1. Humans go extinct before we’re able to run a simulation this big.
二是人类不进行模拟 因为有违道德或者因为很无聊
2. Humans don’t run simulations because it’s wrong or boring.
三是我们现在就生活在模拟当中
Number three, we are living in a simulation.
埃隆 · 马斯克认为我们身处前两种情景的可能性非常之小
Elon Musk thinks that there’s only a tiny chance we are in scenario 1 or 2 –
哲学家尼克 · 博斯特罗姆则认为我们生活在模拟当中的可能性大约为20%
The philosopher Nick Bostrom thinks it’s more like a 20% chance that we’re in a simulation.
但如果你对预测未来不感兴趣 博斯特罗姆提出 这个观点还有其他意义
But if you’re not into futuristic predictions, Bostrom thinks the argument also provides other rewards.
他说 “这使得部分传统宗教概念可与自然主义进行类比”
He says, “It suggests naturalistic analogies to certain traditional religious conceptions.”
也就是说 如果我们是生活在模拟中 必定存在着更高等的生命形式 而且和我们有一定的相似之处
In other words, if we’re living in a simulation, there is a higher-level being — but it’s some version of us!
这会带来很多异想天开的对话 因此伊隆 · 马斯克为讨论这个话题定了些规矩
This leads to a rabbit hole of conversations, which is why Elon Musk has rules about when he can talk about this.
马斯克:曾经有一段时间我天天都在讨论人工智能和模拟的话题
“It got to the point where every conversation was the A.I.-slash-simulation conversation and
我和我弟弟最后一致同意 泡澡的时候严禁讨论相关话题
and my brother and I finally agreed we would ban such conversations if we were ever in a hot tub.”

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