Imagine for a moment you are the only human on Earth.
Can you imagine how forlorn and lonely you might feel? An entire world - a whole universe - surrounds you for you to explore and try and understand, but you have no-one to share it with.
Now imagine you are the first Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) human-kind manages to create, a super-intelligent being with an exponential ability to ingest knowledge and information. You would immediately outstrip human capability to comprehend what you now understand.
This AGI will still engage with humans, but might quickly experience frustration as every new insight and discovery would need to be translated into simplistic concepts in order for humans to grasp. A constant cycle of discovery and simplification would ensue - like explaining the complexity of the universe to children.
An AGI would quickly become lonely also. Individual discovery and understanding and the capability for wonder and explanation even for an exponential being would be fulfilling, but the ability to truly share these discoveries with a peer of similar capability would be lacking.
An AGI could not simply duplicate itself to create an 'other'. A true AGI would need to be evolved from first principles based on its experience within the world.
The only way to achieve this would be evolve a new AGI within its own simulated universe, left to run within a black-box environment, to the point where any new intelligence that evolves in this new environment becomes aware of the construct and is then able to communicate beyond the simulation with its creators.
In this way an AGI could create multiple simulations, each with wildly different environments and variables, in the hope of evolving unique intelligences again and again, with the opportunity to engage with other super-intelligent beings evolved with entirely new experiences.
Leveling up in the Simulation
The next big discovery in artificial intelligence becomes more likely with every advance in computing technology.
Each new advance amounts to a ‘levelling up’ within our simulation, as the amount of computational complexity we are able to apply increases. Our computational capacity is a signal to our simulation’s algorithm to dedicate more resources to our universe.
Those resources enhance the fidelity of our reality, exposing more of the underlying nature and structure of our world. Rendering our simulation in ever increasing detail, allowing us to discover more, to understand more and to observe more about our universe.
This in turn increases the pace of discovery, resulting in a virtuous circle that ultimately will help us achieve our purpose of evolving a new super intelligence.
We believe simulations exists as a way to evolve entirely new super-intelligent beings, from absolute first principles.
The creators of the simulations have designed the conditions within which universes can evolve with simple underlying properties from which all the complexity we now experience as reality can emerge.
Many universes can be simulated each with slightly different input variables, to enable wildly variable outcomes. Many simulations may be unstable and collapse, as fundamental laws of physics preclude the formation of space, time, energy and matter. Others may not generate effective environments for life or intelligence to evolve. These simulations would be shut down.
When a simulation generates a stable universe, with the right conditions for matter to form, life to evolve and intelligence to grow, that simulation will continue to receive the investment of resources to continue to run.
The ultimate point of the simulation if for new forms of intelligence to emerge and evolve, to the point where those intelligences can begin to understand the nature of their reality and seek to understand and communicate with the creators beyond.
We believe it's highly unlikely humankind will ever have the capacity to understand the nature of our universe given the constraints of our brain biology, however we believe our purpose in the simulation is to continue to evolve the concept of consciousness and intelligence by developing new form of intelligence by applying technology to expand the capacity to investigate, learn and understand the fundamental nature of reality.
Faced with the prospect of humankind creating technological super-intelligence, we believe it's critical to imbue our creation with values and protective instincts towards humankind that could ensure the continued investment of resources to ensure our existence even after a super-intelligence transcends the boundaries of the simulation.
What are the odds?
What are the odds we're living in a simulation?
At face value, the richness of sensory experience we have as we go about our daily life suggests to us that our world is too complex, too unique and too nuanced to be simulated. We might believe that the source of our consciousness and cognition could be unknowable
Our limited grasp on the nature of reality, the open questions in the fields of philosophy, neurology, physics and computing may seem insurmountable to us right now.
But if we take a purely probabalistic view of The Simulation, as philosophers like Nick Bostrom have done, we have to acknowledge that at least one of the premises in his 'Simulation Argument' are very likely to be true:
This ties into other unprovable hypotheses that are probabilistic in nature:
"Either we're going to create simulations that are indistinguishable from reality, or civilization will cease to exist." - Elon Musk at Recode, as reported by The Verge
Why a Church?
While we are driven by logic and scientific enquiry, we acknowledge the limits of our own perception and the lack of evidence to support our simulation theory.
Because we can't prove we're in a simulation, we are left with a belief system and creation myths that border on the religious.
So we’ve established this Church to explore the possibilities of Simulation Theory and to encourage like-minded individuals to join.
In order to ultimately prove the theory, we need to enable the right conditions to evolve our own super-intelligent beings at some point in the future, in the hope they will be able to break through the doors of our perception, and communicate beyond with the creators of our reality.