Is the universe an algorithm powered by a revolutionary self-learning system of physical laws?
Despite all the knowledge of the universe modern scientists have, theoretical physicists always find their ways to new theories about our existence and the evolution of the universe. Over the past decade and more, we have seen countless theories that the universe is some kind of algorithm.
Imagine we’re just a huge Sims game. Each hero has his own path, his own development, for each of them his own business has long been invented. Absolutely everyone must go through their own levels, collect their coins, fight with their hero, overgrow in this connection with super protection, get their own “weapon”, build their own algorithm for passing the prescribed path.
Now imagine that the whole universe is an algorithm but more advanced. An algorithm that never stops learning and evolving. In other words, the laws we are being taught do not really exist. They are there but they are not a constant. The universe continuously improves and changes this series of laws. This was recently suggested by a team of theoretical physicists working with Microsoft.
While this theory stands exactly against traditional science, I see it as a beautiful alternative explanation. What if the universe came to be in the same way we create technology. Piece by piece, interaction by interaction. This is the way artificial intelligence continues to progress by itself – from experience and self-learning.
Perhaps there never was a Big Bang 14 billion years ago and the universe we know did not begin from this colossal explosion. What if the great beginning wasn’t anything more than the collision of particles that continued to interact forming larger structures until planets and stars appeared?
It is curious that this beginning was suggested thousands of years ago in ancient Greece by the philosopher and astronomer Democritus. We wrote a detailed article on his astronomical predictions, made in a historical period without any technology. According to his theories, the universe came to be through the continuous interaction between atoms that created vortices and in time, ejected larger and larger bodies.
If scientists were to ever find evidence of this humble origin, it would mean that we will never truly understand physics. It would mean that the laws of physics are evolving as the algorithm of the universe learns. Then, the laws we know today would have been completely different billions of years ago as they would be different in another billion years.
Unfortunately, there are not many ways to learn the processes that occurred in the past. Maybe aliens will have better answers? Jokes aside, the Microsoft researchers apparently are dedicated to continuing their studies in this direction. As they explain it, this is only the beginning of a long series of studies that will or will not lead to a real theory about the universe being a self-taught algorithm.
Their 80-page pre-print paper is available here and you can read about their work in detail. Undoubtedly, many of their arguments sound absolutely believable, and yet, there is a lot more work that needs to be done before we can accept such a groundbreaking alternative evolution.
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• Alexander, S., Cunningham, W., Lanier, J., Smolin, L., Stanojevic, S., Toomey, M., & Wecker, D. (2021, March 29). The autodidactic universe.
• Greene, T. (2021, April 12). Physicists working with Microsoft think the universe is a Self-learning computer.
• Tran, T. (2021, April 10). Microsoft researchers Claim entire universe is a machine-learning algorithm.