Philip K. Dick's Matrix/ AI Threats

Hosted byGeorge Knapp

Philip K. Dick's Matrix/ AI Threats

About the show

Timothy Beckley, author, publisher, and paranormal investigator, joined George Knapp in the first half to discuss sci-fi author Philip K. Dick's declaration that "we are living in a computer-programmed reality and an alternative world." Beckley described why Dick's synchronicities and stories were not entirely science-fiction, but science alternate-reality – in a universe that cannot be so easily grasped or explained. Beckley began with stories about his interactions and friendship with famed investigator and author John Keel, and Keel’s theories, which proposed that the UFO phenomenon could not be explained simply as visits from aliens. He also recalled his early UFO investigations in the 1960s which included Bigfoot sightings and poltergeist activity, indicating that the issue was far more complicated than most believed at the time.

Beckley then mentioned a quote from Philip K. Dick: "We are living in a computer program reality" and that the only time we realize it is when we encounter coincidences or synchronicities. Dick wrote about these ideas in his book 1981 book, VALIS. Dick also believed that we are living in several levels of a "multiverse" at the same time. Beckley illustrated a few strange coincidences he has experienced which he says are not merely happenstance, but point to a larger, connected reality. He also told a story of famous TV personality Rod Serling, who although he had no belief in anything paranormal, told a mutual friend that if he did come back from the beyond the grave it would be in the form of a butterfly. After Serling passed on, a butterfly visited him repeatedly. Beckley pointed out that the insect is considered a symbol of resurrection. Beckley also provided helpful background material and a video link.


In the second half, artificial intelligence (AI) expert Peter Scott outlined the stark choices and consequences facing us with a path that could signal a future of subjugation or one of limitless promise. Scott said that we view human events "though a linear lens," but that changes in data processing are occurring exponentially, and mentioned that there is more data being produced every two days than was accumulated in all of human history up to the year 2003. The event we should be concerned about, according to Scott, is the final achievement of human-level AI which has been predicted to occur in the early 2040s. He said that marketing software for the Target chain stores has already predicted a woman’s pregnancy before she even knew it based only on her buying choices.

Scott observed that the history of human predictions has not generally been accurate, especially in regard to computers, and that the first theory of computing power was that they would just get bigger. No one foresaw computers in everyone’s pocket and all over the world. He predicted that the next big change for humankind after the information revolution would (and should be) a "human revolution" that would "be able to distribute the wealth that our technology produces in the future." Scott said that AI should be developed publicly and in the open, because of the problems that secrecy and financial motivation would introduce to the process. Scott countered gloomy predictions with the promise that AI could hold in being able to free humans "from things we don’t want to do" and that the direction of future development depends largely on "the personalities of the people involved."

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