Jailbreak the simulation

George Hotz, the hacker and founder of startup Comma.ai, says he’s tortured by the possibility that all of us are in an advanced simulation observed by either an omnipotent extraterrestrial or artificial intelligence.

“There’s no evidence this is not true,” an animated Hotz told a crowd at his SXSW talk on Friday, aptly titled “Jailbreaking the Simulation” and billed on the festival’s website as an exploration of whether breaking out of a simulated universe means we can “meet God” and kill him. “It’s easy to imagine things that are so much smarter than you and they could build a cage you wouldn’t even recognize.”

The theory, known widely as the simulation hypothesis, posits that life on Earth, and by extension the Solar System and even the universe itself, is potentially a computer simulation, either a video game or some other form of entertainment for advanced lifeforms or possibly some type of AI-guided simulation of ancestral life created by a far-future version of humanity. It’s a popular proposition that has, in recent years, been publicly entertained by big names in tech, like Elon Musk, and has been more seriously considered and unpacked by prominent philosophers like Nick Bostrom.

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