Rebooting the Cosmos: Is the Universe the Ultimate Computer?

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Rebooting the Cosmos: Is the Universe the Ultimate Computer?

Full Program: 2011 World Science Festival | 01:31:14

Featuring Computer Scientist Edward Fredkin, Theoretical Physicist Fotini Markopoulou-Kalamara, Computer Scientist, Artist Jürgen Schmidhuber, and Mechanical Engineer, Author Seth Lloyd with Journalist John Hockenberry Moderating

Full 90-minute program: As computers become progressively faster and more powerful, they’ve gained the impressive capacity to simulate increasingly realistic environments. Which raises a question familiar to aficionados of The Matrix—might life and the world as we know it be a simulation on a super advanced computer? “Digital physicists” have developed this idea well beyond the sci-fi possibilities, suggesting a new scientific paradigm in which computation is not just a tool for approximating reality, but is also the basis of reality itself. In place of elementary particles, think bits; in place of fundamental laws of physics, think computer algorithms. But is this a viable approach? Is the universe the ultimate computer running some grand cosmic code? A discussion among the brightest minds in digital physics to explore math, computer science, theories of consciousness, the origin of life, and free will—and delve into a world of information that may underlie everything. More from this series: Rebooting the Cosmos



John Hockenberry

John Hockenberry

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Edward Fredkin

Computer Scientist
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Fotini Markopoulou-Kalamara

Theoretical Physicist
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Jürgen Schmidhuber

Computer Scientist, Artist
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Seth Lloyd

Mechanical Engineer, Author
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