By Elizabeth Libro
When the movie the Matrix made its debut in 1999, it raised millions of questions for viewers regarding whether or not we were actually living in an alternative computer simulated reality. For years people asked themselves this question. In recent years, however, two Silicon Valley tech billionaires have come forward with news that they are shelling out millions of dollars to fund scientific research that will help determine if we are in fact are living in an alternate reality simulated by advanced computer technology.
The scientific research being conducted will not only tell us whether or not we are living in an alternate reality, but the research is designed to try and break us out of the simulation if we are in one. The billionaires reasoning for funding the research involves the advancement of computing technology in today’s society. With computing technology advancing as quickly as it has been, the researchers have reasoned that at some point in the future technology will become indistinguishable from real life. Further, they’ve urged that if technology has the capability of advancing to the point where it becomes indistinguishable from real life in the future, what’s to say it hasn’t already evolved to that point and we are already living in it?
Many questions can be raised if we are living in a computer simulation. The biggest question raised by these billionaires and researchers relates to individual privacy. Even though the right to privacy is not addressed in the Constitution, it is addressed in the various amendments. The right to privacy is an individuals right to be free to make certain decisions without the interference from the government. If we are living in a computer simulation then do we actually have the privacy afforded to us through the constitutional amendments? Or are there people monitoring us everyday just like they are monitoring the individuals in the movie the Matrix? Thereby, negating all privacy rights that have been created. For now, these theories are simply that. Just theories. Until researchers determine whether or not their research has reveled anything, people in the United States can go on believing that their right to privacy is protected and not being interfered with by the government.
Student Bio: Elizabeth is a 3L at Suffolk University Law School. She is a Lead Note Editor on the Journal of High Technology Law, President of the Suffolk University Law School Softball Club, and Vice President of the Suffolk University Law School Women’s Law Association.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog are the views of the author alone and do not represent the views of JHTL or Suffolk University Law School.