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Are internet people real?


I was pondering the nature of the internet today, as I often do, and I wondered – if there was an Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the internet, how would we really know?

I was thinking – any of my internet friends from around the world that I’m yet to meet, could theoretically be an AI. It might be that none of them are real. Or all of them. How to tell? Obviously the only way to tell would be to meet them in the flesh, and when that happens, you can be pretty sure they’re not an AI.

But if you never meet some of them, then you’ve really got no way of telling.

Sure, you could talk on the phone with them, or even via Skype. But do you think an AI wouldn’t be able to create realistic video and sound effects? It’s all just data, and if an AI can’t manipulate data to create whatever it wants, then it’s not doing it right.

And what if we can’t even trust our senses? What if we just think we’re meeting people in real life, but instead it’s just more manipulated data, and we’re really just experiencing lives of illusion?

“What is real? How do you define ‘real’? If you’re talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then ‘real’ is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain.” – Morpheus, The Matrix

Even your physical senses can be manipulated if someone – or something – is controlling the data entering your mind.

Scientists are beginning to wonder if our reality is actually a holographic simulation. I’m not sure what that actually means in scientific terms – or even in laymans’ terms – but it suggests that something else is creating and controlling this universe that we exist in, and that reality is an illusion.

Which is something that mystics have been saying for thousands of years.

I’m wondering if I take the red pill, where will I wake up?

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