The brains in a vat argument is a philosophical and theoretic argument made by scientists, that state that the world as we know it simply does not exist. The objects, animals and people that we come across are merely projections thrown by our brain and our brain is in fact encased within a vat or a jar. Philosophically, our brains would be connected to highly sophisticated pieces of software that transmit intelligent electric signals to our brain. These signals would in turn convert into seemingly real projections made by our brain. These interlinked and highly complex projections would be what we call our world.
The brain would not be required to be connected with any other part of the body. It would just need to be sustained by placing it within life supporting liquid matter.
Replay of worlds
Assuming there are brain vat farms in the real world, it would only make sense that every brain in the vat would be replaying the exact same dream sequence (charges fired to the brains neurons). A favourable dream sequence would merely need to be developed through trial and error. Once a favourable dream sequence is agreed upon, it would merely need to be turned into binary and eventually fed to a software. The software would translate the binary information to extremely low voltage shocks that the brain would use as electric signals. These signals would turn into projections.
Theoretical use case for brains in a vat
There may be various theoretic use cases for the brains in a vat argument. However, the 2 common ones are:
- Human beings have been attacked and overpowered by AI. The same artificial intelligence we created has wiped us out and our using our brains as a primary or alternative power source.
- Human civilization has been attacked and terminated by alien life. After our demise, alien beings have devised a mechanism to keep our brains alive and harness power from it. They may have also devised a way to artificially grow human brains.
In pop culture
The Matrix trilogy
The movie, The Matrix depicts the brains in a vat philosophy very cleverly, where the World is overrun by Artificial intelligence and AI uses fields of human beings which are grown for one purpose and one purpose alone; to harness the human body’s energy to power their existence. The brains where not detached from the body in the movie.
Within the movie Source Code, Captain Colter Stevens portrayed by Jake Gyllenhaal, has his consciousness uploaded to another individual to complete a mission.
Dom Cobb played by Leonardo DiCaprio is a thief that expertise’s in the art of extracting information from the victims mind, while the victim is in a drugged state. Cobb also has the ability to manipulate the dreams of the victim and plant seeds (ideas) through inception. These seeds would eventually manipulate the victim in doing what he wants.
- “The nerve endings of your brain are connected to a supercomputer that feeds you all the sensations of everyday life.This is why you think you’re living a completely normal life” – Laura D’Olimpio, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at University of Notre Dame
- “Can you say with absolute certainty that it’s not true? Could you prove to someone that you aren’t actually a brain in a vat?” – Laura D’Olimpio