Fans of the Wachowskis’ The Matrix films may remember the trilogy’s final suggestion (as far as critics could tell) that humanity’s struggle to escape its own virtual world may take a very, very long time. Thankfully, a number of tech titans are dedicating millions to finding a way out of the techno-reality they’re creating.
Elon Musk and at least one other future-facing donor are reportedly spending millions to establish escape routes from the indistinguishably realistic and Matrix-like virtual world that awaits us all–or which, according to Musk, may have already arrived. The UK’s Independent noted yesterday that new information from Sam Altman, who heads up the powerful Y Combinator and founded the non-profit OpenAI with Musk, suggests that Musk isn’t the only one pouring cash into a virtual contingency plan.
As a recent New Yorker profile of Altman explains, “people in Silicon Valley have become obsessed with the simulation hypothesis, the argument that what we experience as reality is in fact fabricated in a computer.” As a result, a second “tech billionaire” is now putting their money where their (hopefully real) mouth is by paying scientists to find the simulation’s emergency exit.