Submitted by Angry_Grandpa_ t3_xwdnek in singularity


In the future there will be simulated realities and so the question I have been pondering is how many people would need to be “real” to have an immersive experience. The number isn’t nearly as large as I expected. In other words, how many people would need to be in my “tribe” so that it appeared to me that everyone was a conscious entity.

Answer: 50 – and probably 25 at any given time would fool me. Possibly less.

This would also reduce the computational load if almost everyone is a simulant (non-conscious entity). I realize that some will argue consciousness itself can be simulated, but assuming that’s not possible then most people would be simulated.

This will vary depending on the person, but I think the numbers for most people will come out something like this:

Immediate family: 10-15 people.

Close friends: 5-10 people.

Inspirational people (teachers, pastors, etc.): 5-10 people.

Co-workers: 5-10 people.

Random (neighbors, etc.): 5-10 people.

Most of the famous people could be distributed across multiple simulations. This is also true for films, music, historical events, etc. You can imagine that there might be multiple tribes of people in the same simulation bonded together who are creating new content that might become popular and that could be re-distributed based on popularity.

I also have family members who I barely know and see infrequently who could be simulated. The moniker “family” doesn’t have any special meaning when it comes a simulation since they wouldn’t need to have any advanced programming other than a simple backstory and the ability to do small talk from time to time. This is also true for almost everyone else I know: classmates who I saw infrequently, most co-workers who I see in passing, etc.

Interestingly, my number is lower than the Dunbar number of 150. That is the proposed cognitive limit of the number of people a human can keep track of in their life. The working memory of human is 5-10 items so it would be interesting to run experiments to see how much detail a person can keep track of as it relates to other people (my guess is that it’s way lower than 150 people). I could keep track of more people, but beyond 50 it would be acquaintances whose details could be easily simulated.

I’m curious to hear your thoughts. How many people in your life would need to be conscious to fool you into believing everyone in a simulation is a conscious entity?



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[deleted] t1_ir5wq4l wrote



dreamedio t1_ir7ym4z wrote

According to who? You?


[deleted] t1_ir8fzh0 wrote



LeavingTheCradle t1_ir67g94 wrote

But not for everyone at once though. The real real will be a single shared universe for everyone.


[deleted] t1_ir5xxxf wrote



Angry_Grandpa_ OP t1_ir5yt73 wrote

You would need to try this a few times on random people to see if you get different results. Let me know your test results. =-)


Lone-Pine t1_ir77eyf wrote

You can hold non-conscious entities at gunpoint and force them to talk philosophy of mind but not conscious entities. You can use this feature of the simulation to set up whatever crazy philosophy thought experiments you want.


Akimbo333 t1_ir8nyxc wrote

An interesting perspective


SFTExP t1_ir8qozk wrote

I’m still trying to figure out who is a conscious entity in this non-simulated (or is it) reality.


Effective-Dig8734 t1_ir66s6m wrote

You could go about constantly creating new ai’s, but the more likely option would just be that the ai can self replicate or reproduce in a similiar way to humans


rushmc1 t1_ir6liyu wrote

I can envision a time not too far off where "real people" will be rated a detriment to an environment.


dreamedio t1_ir7ylc4 wrote

“In the future there will be simulated realities” I hate when people do this we could all be dead or we could have a nuclear war next year nobody knows but yeah if we make progress at the current rate we should and we do since video games are simulated realities

But yeah simulation needs only thing that you observe to be simulated nothing else like front view of buildings,front view of other npc humans etc