Max Tegmark Quotes

Who 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 | Page 1 of 2

“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.”

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

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

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

“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'.”

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

“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.”

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

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?'”

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.”

Life 3.0

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

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.”

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.”

Life 3.0

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

Life 3.0

Products by Max Tegmark

“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.”

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.”

Life 3.0

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“I’d far rather be happy than right any day.”


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“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.”

Life 3.0

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

Life 3.0

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

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.”

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.”

Life 3.0

Our Mathematical Universe Quotes

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

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.”

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.”

Our Mathematical Universe

“Follow your course and let the people speak!”

Our Mathematical Universe

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

Our Mathematical Universe

“Our external physical reality is a mathematical structure.”

Our Mathematical Universe

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

Our Mathematical Universe

Products by Max Tegmark

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

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.”

Our Mathematical Universe

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“Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”


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