In a paper published in 2003, Nick Bostrom, a philosopher at the University of Oxford talked about the possibility that we are all living in a huge simulation designed by a civilization much more advanced than ours.

Simulation
An Oxford philosopher said we might be living in a computer-simulated world

He argued that one of the following three propositions must hold true:

  • We are living in a simulated world.
  • Mots advanced civilizations have no interest in dreaming up simulated worlds.
  • The majority of civilizations disappear before they are able to create realistic simulations.

These three propositions are called the Bostrom’s trilemma and recently, an astronomer at Columbia University – David Kipping took another look at them and concluded it was a 50-50 chance that we were living in a simulated world.

David Kipping
David Kipping - an astronomer at Columbia University

Kipping said the two latter propositions would lead to the same outcome, we are not the results of a more advanced civilization.

He also said to create more layers of a simulated world, the more computer power would dwindle. So in other words, a more convincing world calls for more and more computer resources.

After analyzing the numbers, the astronomer concluded that we had a 50% chance of living in such a world.

Matrix
We have a 50% chance of living in a simulation

However, if humans could someday be able to create a simulation like that, the picture would change drastically. He said when such technology was invented, we could be certain that humanity as we know it wasn’t real, according to his calculations.

For now, there are so many possibilities. What if we are living in a simulation using quantum superpositions that are determined only when you look at them?

Culture Matrix Redpillbluepill
If we were to create the technology needed to create a simulated world, we could be certain that we aren't real

Some others said in the next few decades, our technology would advance to a point we can say for sure if we are real or not.

Before that day comes, we have no other choice but to admit that we just don’t know.