If we were in a simulated reality, would it be possible to get out of it? Scientist and computer scientist Roman Yampolskiy presented in a study various ways we might attempt to escape from a simulation. Let’s see what they consist of.
As we know, many scientists do not rule out the possibility that our reality could be a simulation created by aliens or a more advanced civilization.
But if we’re really in a simulation, how could we escape in the real world? Roman Yampolskiy of the University of Louisville believes that first we should understand what kind of simulation we are in.
“We can postulate two main types of simulation: a partial simulation, where a virtual environment is built by inserting real agents, similar to what we call virtual reality,” he explains in his study, “and a total simulation in which both the environment and the agents (us) are generated.”
One of the methods to escape could be to force the creators of the simulation to use more and more computing power until they could no longer ignore it (admitting they could find a way to do it). In that case, the risk would obviously be what the simulation is turned off completely. If we were in a partial simulation, we could easily get out of it, but if we were simulated ourselves, it would certainly not be the ideal solution.
The study proposes other interesting ideas, such as building a huge monument in binary code for attract the attention of our creatorsor crash the computer deliberately creating a time paradox.
But perhaps a more intriguing idea is to “hack” the simulation and escape through the use of gimmicks that may have been left lying around the universe. The idea reached Yampolskiy when, in 2016, YouTuber Seth Bling managed to hack a copy of Super Mario World; using only movement and performing specific actions in the game, he gained access to the game’s code and modified it, turning it into a version of Flappy Bird.
“Since it was possible to write a code using Mario’s movements and jumps,” writes Yampolskiy, “this implies that if Mario were smart enough, he could hack the game itself from within.“
Our best chance would still be to attract the attention of an observer of the simulation and convince him to show us the exit, relying on his empathy. According to Yampolskiy, we are still in the early stages of research and the next step is to further investigate the structure of the universe, which we are now doing through the quantum mechanics.
It is thanks to the latter that we could find expedients to exploit to our advantage. Among the various quirks of quantum mechanics, an experiment recently showed that photons can move backwards in time.