Max Tegmark Quotes

Who the Hell is Max Tegmark?

Max Erik Tegmark is a Swedish-American physicist, cosmologist and machine learning researcher.

Tegmark is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the president of the Future of Life Institute.

Max Tegmark also wrote the books 'Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality' and 'Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence'.

Born May 05, 1967

Books by Max Tegmark


Best 32 Quotes by Max Tegmark

“If I get a parking ticket, there is always a parallel universe where I didn't. On the other hand, there is yet another universe where my car was stolen.”

Max Tegmark

“If life were a movie, physical reality would be the entire DVD: Future and past frames exist just as much as the present one.”

Max Tegmark

“In 2056, I think you'll be able to buy T-shirts on which are printed equations describing the unified laws of our universe.”

Max Tegmark

“In infinite space, even the most unlikely events must take place somewhere.”

Max Tegmark

“The core of a scientific lifestyle is to change your mind when faced with information that disagrees with your views, avoiding intellectual inertia, yet many of us praise leaders who stubbornly stick to their views as 'strong'.”

Max Tegmark

“The hallmark of a deep explanation is that it answers more than you ask.”

Max Tegmark

“With each advance in understanding come new questions. So we need to be very humble. We shouldn’t have hubris and think that we can understand everything. But history tells us that there is good reason to believe that we will continue making fantastic progress in the years ahead.”

Max Tegmark

“As the ancient Greeks replaced myth-based explanations with mechanistic models of the Solar System, their emphasis shifted from asking why to asking how.”

Max Tegmark

"Life 3.0" Quotes

“Computer scientists call validation: whereas verification asks 'Did I build the system right?', validation asks 'Did I build the right system?'”

Max Tegmark
Life 3.0

“Elon Musk argued that what we need right now from governments isn’t oversight but insight: specifically, technically capable people in government positions who can monitor AI’s progress and steer it if warranted down the road.”

Max Tegmark
Life 3.0

“If we don't know what we want we're less likely to get it.”

Max Tegmark
Life 3.0

“If you're driving down a highway at fifty-five miles per hour and suddenly see a squirrel a few meters in front of you, it's too late for you to do anything about it, because you've already run it over! Your consciousness lives in the past.”

Max Tegmark
Life 3.0

“In other words, we can think of life as a self-replicating information-processing system whose information (software) determines both its behaviour and the blueprints for its hardware.”

Max Tegmark
Life 3.0

“Let’s instead define life very broadly, simply as a process that can retain its complexity and replicate.”

Max Tegmark
Life 3.0

“Life 1.0: life where both the hardware and software are evolved rather than designed. You and I, on the other hand, are examples of Life 2.0: life whose hardware is evolved, but whose software is largely designed. By your software, I mean all the algorithms and knowledge that you use to process the information from your senses and decide what to do—everything from the ability to recognize your friends when you see them to your ability to walk, read, write, calculate, sing and tell jokes.”

Max Tegmark
Life 3.0

“The more automated society gets and the more powerful the attacking AI becomes, the more devastating cyberwarfare can be. If you can hack and crash your enemy’s self-driving cars, auto-piloted planes, nuclear reactors, industrial robots, communication systems, financial systems and power grids, then you can effectively crash his economy and cripple his defenses. If you can hack some of his weapons systems as well, even better.”

Max Tegmark
Life 3.0

“The robot misconception is related to the myth that machines can’t control humans. Intelligence enables control: humans control tigers not because we’re stronger, but because we’re smarter. This means that if we cede our position as smartest on our planet, it’s possible that we might also cede control.”

Max Tegmark
Life 3.0

“This ability of Life 2.0 to design its software enables it to be much smarter than Life 1.0.”

Max Tegmark
Life 3.0

“We invented fire, repeatedly messed up, and then invented the fire extinguisher, fire exit, fire alarm and fire department.”

Max Tegmark
Life 3.0

“When people ask about the meaning of life as if it were the job of our cosmos to give meaning to our existence, they’re getting it backward: It’s not our Universe giving meaning to conscious beings, but conscious beings giving meaning to our Universe.”

Max Tegmark
Life 3.0

“Your synapses store all your knowledge and skills as roughly 100 terabytes’ worth of information, while your DNA stores merely about a gigabyte, barely enough to store a single movie download.”

Max Tegmark
Life 3.0

Products by Max Tegmark

"Our Mathematical Universe" Quotes

“All too often, schools resemble museums, reflecting the past rather than shaping the future.”

Max Tegmark
Our Mathematical Universe

“Economics was largely a form of intellectual prostitution where you got rewarded for saying what the powers that be wanted to hear.”

Max Tegmark
Our Mathematical Universe

“Evolution endowed us with intuition only for those aspects of physics that had survival value for our distant ancestors, such as the parabolic orbits of flying rocks.”

Max Tegmark
Our Mathematical Universe

“Follow your course and let the people speak!”

Max Tegmark
Our Mathematical Universe

“I think that consciousness is the way information feels when being processed in certain complex ways.”

Max Tegmark
Our Mathematical Universe

“Our external physical reality is a mathematical structure.”

Max Tegmark
Our Mathematical Universe

“The world is weird, and we just have to learn to live with it.”

Max Tegmark
Our Mathematical Universe

“There’s no better guarantee of failure than convincing yourself that success is impossible, and therefore never even trying.”

Max Tegmark
Our Mathematical Universe

“We're all born with curiosity, but at some point, school usually manages to knock that out of us. I feel that my main responsibility as a teacher isn’t to convey facts, but to rekindle that lost enthusiasm for asking questions.”

Max Tegmark
Our Mathematical Universe

“What is real? Is there more to reality than meets the eye? Yes! was Plato’s answer over two millennia ago. In his famous cave analogy, he likened us to people who’d lived their entire lives shackled in a cave, facing a blank wall, watching the shadows cast by things passing behind them, and eventually coming to mistakenly believe that these shadows were the full reality. Plato argued that what we humans call our everyday reality is similarly just a limited and distorted representation of the true reality, and that we must free ourselves from our mental shackles to begin comprehending it.”

Max Tegmark
Our Mathematical Universe

“Why do we perceive the world as stable and ourselves as local and unique? Here’s my guess: because it’s useful.”

Max Tegmark
Our Mathematical Universe