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On the simulation (and energy costs) of human intelligence, the singularity and simulationism

Winfield, Alan F. T.



Vivien Kendon


For many the Holy Grail of robotics and AI is the creation of artificial persons: artefacts with equivalent general competencies as humans. Such artefacts would literally be simulations of humans. With the theme of simulation this essay reflects on both the simulation of intelligence and the associated energy costs across three broad and controversial topics: first, how to design (or evolve) human-equivalent AI, second, the prospects of an intelligence explosion once the first has been achieved, and third, simulationism - the idea that we are ourselves simulations in a simulated universe.


Winfield, A. F. T. (2019). On the simulation (and energy costs) of human intelligence, the singularity and simulationism. In A. Adamatzky, & V. Kendon (Eds.), From Astrophysics to Unconventional Computation, 397-407. Springer Nature Publishing AG.

Acceptance Date Jan 26, 2019
Online Publication Date Apr 17, 2019
Publication Date Apr 17, 2019
Publicly Available Date Apr 18, 2021
Print ISSN 2367-4512
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Pages 397-407
Series Title Emergence, Complexity and Computation book series
Series Number 28
Book Title From Astrophysics to Unconventional Computation
Keywords artificial intelligence (AI), artificial general intelligence (AGI), energy, simulation, the singularity, simulationism
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Additional Information Additional Information : The final publication is available at Springer via


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