Re: The AIbox

From: Eliezer Yudkowsky (
Date: Sun Jul 04 2004 - 13:18:46 MDT

Thomas Buckner wrote:
> You know, I recall reading on some Singularity-related web page that
> since possible sim-universes were so numerous, there is a very high
> likelihood that we are in one. I'm not sure this is provable, but it
> would explain a *lot*.

Under the Bayesian (that is, the correct) definition of "explanation" the
simulation hypothesis would explain nearly nothing, since it makes no
specific predictions. It explains less than the competing hypothesis,
because the hypothesis of non-simulation predicts our present world far
more strongly. The only thing that the simulation hypothesis may be said
to "explain" is, "Why are we ancestral humans, rather than our descendants
who are presumably far more numerous?" And even here, to call it an
"explanation" is a disputed point, for both hypotheses predict the
existence of ancestors like ourselves, asking that very question.

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky                
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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