Defining the concept of Artificial Intelligence is nearly impossible as its meaning is different in each individual case. Perhaps the best way to describe it is a combination of advanced technologies in one main system that allows it to act and think with intelligence.
For some, these advancements are worrying. Others believe that they will change our future for the better. In each case, new achievements of AI get revealed literally on a daily basis and even today, artificial intelligence has already surpassed any expectations that scientists may have had decades ago.
Оne of the significant latest AI algorithms could answer a fundamental question for science – is reality a simulation or not?
A new AI algorithm
Theories about the nature of our reality have been present for decades, if not centuries. Especially in the technological age, more and more people question whether our whole lives are not part of a massive computer simulation controlled by more advanced beings.
Recently, physicist Hong Qin from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) developed an algorithm that allows AI to learn from experience. What this means is that the AI does not require additional data, it obtains it and learns it automatically in the process.
The actual purpose of the new algorithm is to predict the planetary orbits of celestial objects in the Solar System. The AI was trained using data on planets and has since surpassed all expectations as it can complete its tasks without knowing any of the necessary laws of physics. As I mentioned before, it improves its knowledge based on experience.
Is reality a simulation?
With this success, Qin has set new goals for his AI algorithm. The new direction will focus on understanding the fusion energy harvesting processes including particles of plasma that power up the Sun.
In his paper, the physicist expressed where he drew his inspirations to create this algorithm. He was particularly inspired by the theory of Nick Bostrom from 2003 that suggested we may be living in a simulation.
With this said, Qin decided to put the traditional theories and laws aside and program his artificial intelligence algorithm to operate using only data. His work is based on the unconventional ‘discrete field theories’ that help AI overcome the difficulties of learning all the conventional laws of physics. He believes that traditional science cannot answer the important questions of the universe but his new algorithm can be adapted in such a way that AI could possibly prove Bostrom’s theory that reality is a simulation.
Future of ‘discrete field theories’
Qin expressed his belief that these new discrete field theories will literally change our future. He believes that there is a potential chance that they replace the conventional laws we all know that has been used in the past centuries by scientists.
While that is certainly a bold statement, I believe that it can prove to be right. It all depends on what discoveries are made using these theories. If this approach proves to be more useful and helps us answer the big questions that have been an obstacle for science from the very beginning, I see nothing wrong in accepting new laws and theories on top of what has been set by the geniuses of the past.
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• Khanna, M. (2021, March 01). Physicist’s ai algorithm could prove our reality is just a simulation.
• Qin, H. (2020, November 09). Machine learning and serving of discrete field theories.
• Ratner, P. (2021, March 01). Physicist creates ai algorithm that may prove reality is a simulation.
• SHACKLETON, N. (n.d.). Scientist proves reality might be simulation with artficial intelligence algorithm.