AI could prove that reality doesn’t exist, physicists say

Physicists are using artificial intelligence and quantum computers to delve into the idea that reality may not exist, stemming from the measurement problem in quantum mechanics where outcomes are not determined until observed. Experimental tests have blurred the lines between reality and perception, suggesting that reality may be observer-dependent, with the proposal to use AI on quantum computers to explore these concepts further, despite current practical limitations.

A group of physicists are exploring the idea that reality may not exist, using artificial intelligence and quantum computers to delve into the complexities of quantum mechanics. This concept stems from the measurement problem in quantum mechanics, where the outcome of a measurement is not determined until it is observed, leading to the idea that reality may not be fixed. Physicists have been grappling with the implications of quantum mechanics for decades, with scenarios like Wigner’s friend highlighting the challenges of defining what constitutes a measurement in quantum systems.

In recent years, advancements in experimental tests have further blurred the lines between reality and perception, with experiments involving entangled particles suggesting that reality may be dependent on the observer. A 2019 experimental test from a group in Edinburgh replaced human friends with photons to test the predictions of these scenarios. The new paper proposes using artificial intelligence on quantum computers to explore these ideas further, assuming human-level intelligence and the ability to exist in superpositions.

However, there are practical limitations to this proposal, including the current lack of human-level artificial intelligence and quantum computers large enough to run such complex simulations. The idea that intelligence is required to make a measurement in quantum systems is also challenged, as traditional detectors are typically used for this purpose. The proposal raises questions about the fundamental nature of reality and the role of observers in quantum systems.

Despite the speculative nature of the proposal, it underscores the importance of advancing our understanding of quantum mechanics and the measurement problem. By exploring larger quantum systems, physicists hope to gain insights into which configurations do or do not collapse superpositions, potentially shedding light on the nature of measurements in quantum systems. The video concludes by emphasizing the pursuit of scientific knowledge as a means to understand the world and solve complex problems, highlighting the role of platforms like Brilliant in facilitating interactive learning in science, computer science, and mathematics.