The simulation argument
Nick Bostrom proposed a trilemma in 2003:
- “The fraction of human-level civilizations that reach a posthuman stage (that is, one capable of running high-fidelity ancestor simulations) is very close to zero”, or
- “The fraction of posthuman civilizations that are interested in running simulations of their evolutionary history, or variations thereof, is very close to zero”, or
- “The fraction of all people with our kind of experiences that are living in a simulation is very close to one.”
The simulation hypothesis is very similar to Zuse’s thesis, with the addition of a form of anthropic reasoning to argue that it has to be one of the three solutions above.
A corollary of this hypothesis is that AI is an achievable goal, because we have been created. Therefore it would be possible to think we could create one.