Even reputable geniuses say we could be living in The Matrix right now
As it stands, virtual reality might one day become so realistic we can't differentiate it from the real world. And artificial intelligence, it might become sentient, controlling us all like pawns in its own intergalactic chess game.
But who's to say these things haven’t already happened?
No, we're not stoned right now, not really. Even so, some of the smartest people in the world agree we could be living in a simulated reality, much like The Matrix.
Elon Musk, genius CEO of both Tesla Motors and SpaceX, has said that the probability we aren't living in a simulation currently is "one in billions."
Analysts at Bank of America have also claimed a 20 to 50 percent chance we are living in a simulation, created by a far smarter civilization than our own.
These thoughts, though wacky to some, aren’t specific to the 21st century, either. Early philosophers have been questioning the nature of our existence and whether or not we can be certain we're living in “base reality” for decades.
Far back in the 17th century, philosopher René Descartes proposed it would be possible for the human brain to be living in a jar, totally isolated from the things we experience as humans. And now, with modern technology, we know it could be theoretically possible to create a machine with the capability to simulate all life. All we'd have to do is hook the fatty mass up to this machine and program an entirely new reality for it to experience.
Even in the very first scene of The Matrix, Neo is seen giving a group of strangers a floppy disk hidden inside a hollowed out copy of Simulacra and Simulation, a 1981 philosophical treatise by Jean Baudrillard. It's a work that questions the nature of the human experience, and argues we could be living inside a simulation.
Just think about how quick technology is advancing right now. Back in the '80s and early '90s, the Internet — all mass communication for that matter — was a dream. Now, comparatively small cell phones are more reliable then our old desk computers, everyone around the world can access everything, and technology is advancing so quickly we are entering into the realm of science fiction tales from the past.
Of course, whether or not we are in a simulation might always be speculation — but the idea itself is still based in facts. If we know how powerful technology can become in this reality, who's to say a civilization outside of ours hasn't already advanced to the point of control, having created a super realistic universe that is home to a perceivably intelligent species: human beings.