Re: Matrix

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Fri Nov 10 2000 - 15:00:50 MST

Gina Miller wrote:
> I just digested the Matrix movie via DVD last night. It was visually
> stimulating, made you think about the future of VR life alternative, and the
> cue words (like AI) were titilating. But don't you think the AI could have
> selected/converted better energy than humans?

In a word, YES. The whole concept is silly; all human body heat is recycled
solar energy to begin with.

The best explanation I could rationalize - and I freely admit that it's not
very good, but it's still the best you're likely to find - is that the Matrix
Pods are magic incomprehensible technology designed by human/AI hybrids before
the Big Wars, and that they have an independent magic power source but it only
works to support the human inside. This also explains why the agents don't
have root permissions on the Matrix - they can't decompile the code. It also
explains why, in the absence of AI support, the "real-life wound suppressors"
on the Matrix Pods don't work.

Sadly, even this attempt at rationalization is torpedoed by Morpheus's
statement that the AIs also use fusion power. Of course, Morpheus's ideas of
the laws of physics aren't necessarily correct - after all, he learned them in
school, and where did he go to school? Why, in the Matrix, of course. Still,
the best thing the Wachowski Bros. could do for a sequel would be to pretend
that the whole "batteries" explanation never happened and that the Matrix is a
deranged interpretation of some Asimov Law about preserving human

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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