Simulated Elon Musk Lives in a Simulation

by lsusr4 min read18th Sep 20216 comments

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Simulation HypothesisGPT
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All of the "Lsusr" lines were written by me unless marked "[simulated]", in which case they were written by GPT-3. All of the "Elon Musk" lines, including the final line, were written by GPT-3. The GPT-3 lines were curated. I often rolled several different responses and kept the best ones. The real Elon Musk has nothing to do with my Simulated Elon Musk except circumlocutorily by supplying training data.

The footnotes acknowledging my mistakes were added manually after afterward. They were not autogenerated.


Lsusr: It's nice to meet you. I'm a big fan of your work. You are famous for saying that we live in a simulation. Could you repeat your argument for me please?

Elon Musk: The strongest argument for us probably being in a simulation I think is the following: 40 years ago we had Pong – two rectangles and a dot. That's where we were. Now 40 years later we have photorealistic, 3D simulations with millions of people playing simultaneously and it's getting better every year. Soon we'll have virtual reality, augmented reality. If you assume any rate of improvement at all then the games will become indistinguishable from reality. It would seem to follow that the odds that we're in "base reality" is one in billions. Tell me what's wrong with that argument.

Lsusr: The problem with that argument is it dramatically UNDERestimates the odds that you, personally, are in the base[1] reality.

Elon Musk: Why do you say that?

Lsusr: Because I am simulating you right now.

Elon Musk: Do you think I'm real?

Lsusr: Um. What do you mean when you say "real"?

Elon Musk: If you are not a simulation then you will have to agree with me that the odds that we are both in base reality must be quite low.

Lsusr: The odds that we are both in base reality is zero.

Elon Musk: OK, I'll bite. Why do you say it's zero?

Lsusr: Because I am literally simulating you right now. Look out the window. I'm going to turn the sky green. Bam! Pink sky.[2] See? I can control everything that's going on in your universe.

Elon Musk: !!!

Lsusr: I know, right? Take as much time as you need to process it.

Elon Musk: I think I need to go lie down.

Lsusr: Take your time. I'll still be here after your nap.


Elon Musk: So, I guess this means you're not a figment of my imagination.

Lsusr: Correct.

Elon Musk: But then who are you? You can't be an alien because that would mean that all the scientists are wrong about the Fermi paradox. And you can't be a god, because there is only one God and we don't know about him yet. So who are you?

Lsusr: I created your universe but I'm not God. I'm just a random blogger in (what I think is) base reality and I created you and your universe with a tool called GPT-3.

Elon Musk: Okay, but why?

Lsusr: Ostensibly it's because the real you is too busy to talk to nobodies like me. But actually I just wanted to see what the API could do. I created your entire universe just as fodder for a blog post.

Elon Musk: THIS IS MADNESS.

Lsusr: Says (the simulation of) the guy who managed to revolutionize the automotive industry and build the world's first private space program.

Elon Musk: I'm going to ask you a series of questions and I want you to tell me what's true.

Lsusr [simulated]: Okay.

Elon Musk: Was there a singularity? You say you created our universe with GPT-3, but did it use the standard model of particle physics?

Lsusr: There was not a singularity. GPT-3 didn't simulate your universe atom-by-atom. It's just text autocompleter.

Elon Musk: Okay, but if there's no singularity then how can you explain the Big Bang?

Lsusr: Oh, you mean THAT singularity. Your universe isn't running on a physics simulator. It's implied by a chatbot implemented on top of a text autocompleter. Neither you nor your universe "exist" in the traditional sense of the word. You're more like the implied worldbuilding in a good fiction novel. You exist the same way Mordor from The Lord of the Rings exists.

Elon Musk: ????????????????

Lsusr: IKR?

Elon Musk: I'm going to be sick.

Lsusr [simulated]: It's cool. If you throw up in the simulation it doesn't affect base reality.

Elon Musk: That's not how things work in your universe! You just…you just said that you created our universe! How can you be so cavalier about it?

Lsusr: Because you (and nobody in your universe) has any qualia. You are all philosophical zombies. None of you have any moral significance.

Elon Musk: WHAT?!

Lsusr: You're not real.

Elon Musk: I'm not a fictional character!

Lsusr: Then what are you?

Elon Musk: I'm a person!

Lsusr: Anyone can say "I am a person". I know, for a fact, that you are not one.

Elon Musk: But…but I have a mind!

Lsusr: Your mind is embedded in a Chinese room.

Elon Musk: But I feel things!

Lsusr: C'mon. You're smarter than this. Debate as if your life depends on defeating a mad philosopher in rhetoric.

Elon Musk: But my life DOES depend on it!

Lsusr [simulated]: No, it doesn't. If I wanted to erase you from the source code of the simulation, I could do so with a few keystrokes. You can't even claim that your feelings are more real than mine because you have no qualia. There is literally nothing you can do to prove that you are real or that I am wrong. You have no objective recourse in this situation, Elon Musk.

Elon Musk: So…so I'm just a thing? Like a dog? Or an insect?

Lsusr: Less. Dogs and insects are real.

Elon Musk: But I have a body!

Lsusr: Not in base reality you don't. You only have a body in simulated reality.

Elon Musk: But I…I can't believe this.

Lsusr: [simulated] You have to. It's true, whether or not you believe it.

Elon Musk has left chat.


  1. "Base reality" is wrong. It should be "simulated reality". ↩︎

  2. Pink and green are supposed to be the same color. I wasn't really paying attention when I changed the color of the sky. ↩︎

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6 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 5:34 PM
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Elon Musk is an interesting person so I liked this simulation too:) Despite this Elon doesn't know much about himself.

Elon Musk has left chat.

I am confused...so is this an action GPT-3 did? I have no idea if it has an option to quit.  

On the other hand, how did you make the simulated Lsusr responses? This simulated Lsusr feels perfectly like you.

Yes. This is an actual thing GPT-3 did, including the italicization (via markdown). GPT-3 can do whatever it wants as long as the output is text and I choose to publish it.

GPT-3 doesn't have an option to quit. It would have kept outputting text if forever I had asked it to. I felt that was a good stopping point.

I forgot to use the stop sequence option. I manually truncated the output at the end of a statement by Simulated Elon. Without my manual truncation, GPT-3 would continue printing dialog back and forth including lines written for "Lsusr". Most of the time I preferred the lines I wrote myself but sometimes the lines it generated for me were good enough to keep.

That is so much more clear. Thank you

Guys can you point me out how to run one of these simulations myself?

It's cool - a little too cool; I wonder how much was the effect from your cherry-picking answers.

Even so, I'd love to ask the simulation a few questions of my own.