Social Implications

Freedom of Speech

  • The creators of Dr. Fuller's simulation world decided to silence Dr. Fuller by murduring him, when they realized the AIs like Dr. Fuller have developed so much that they can simulate another world of their own. They were worried because sooner these AIs will start to doubt about the reality of their own world. Therefore, they chose to take away Dr. Fuller's freedom to disseminate this idea to his colleague, Douglas Hall.
  • Potentially downloading into a character could violate their freedom of speech as it could potentially stop them from saying what they want to as they are being taken control of. "Freedom of speech is the political right to communicate one's opinions and ideas using one's body and property to anyone who is willing to receive them.(wikipedia)". Obviously while a person has taken over the simulated character, the character is not able to express their own opinions or ideas, as they are not in control of their body.

Intellectual Property

  • The security system in the building used real guards, RFID controlled door locks to prevent others from entering the building and stealing the IP of Dr. Fuller's simulation invention
  • When Detective McBain asked Douglas Hall about the simulation system, Douglas declined to talk about the details and said it was confidential information. Although Douglas might had other reasons to reject the question, his response was an act to protect company IP, because their project has not been revealed to the public.


  • Privacy is defined as "the right to control who knows what about you, and under what conditions". It can be argued that the characters in the simulation have had their privacy violated. Any time they want to, a person from the "real world" can enter into the simulation and take control of their body/life. The characters in the simulation are not consenting to this, as they are unaware that it is actually happening. The people from the "real world" can gain access to their lives and do as they please with them.
  • There are many examples of privacy violation. For example, Dr. Fuller frequently entered the simulation world to have sex with young girls using the body of Grierson. The latter had a loyal life with his wife, and have never cheated her. He felt guilty and his wife heartbroke when they smell perfume of young girls on Grierson's body. ther examples are the invasion of Natasha's private life by Jane Fuller, and David entering Douglas's life to kill innocent people. They all should be left alone living in their own life.


  • The murder of Mr. Fuller is disputable because there is no clear definition that if killing people in the simulation world is crime. On one hand, those people living in the simulation world do not physically exist in the "real world"(by saying real world, I mean the world that can access the simulated world at its people's will, since we are not sure if 2025 world is a simulation of later world). On the other hand, those people living in the simulated world have their own independent thoughts, emotions, and feelings that are free from the control of codes. This is proved by the reaction of Ashton both when he found out that the world he lived in is not real, and when he's mind is transformed into 1999 simulation world. Therefore, if they have independent thoughts, emotions, and feelings, which make them more than just artificial intelligence, killing them would be a more complicated issue.
  • About the death of David, clearly Jane knew that if people get into simulated world and die in there, their body in the "real world" will remain the same, but the mind will be replaced. She feels David was doing something wrong and she fell in love with Douglas, and she knew David will be angry enough to try to kill her. Therefore, although the process of killing David holding a gun toward Jane is legal, it is planned as well.

Errors Failures Risks

  • Because the computer cannot simulate everything at the best detail, it chose to simulate realistic world in the center of the city, and render wireframe at the boundaries. Any AI seeing these "end of the world" will notice their world is fake immediately. Rather than setting up barrier stop signs, why not just surround the city with unpassable mountains or oceans so that no AI will ever reach "the end of the world"?
  • In the movie we see a scene when Douglas entered the simulation world the second time without setting a timer. The system tried to repeatedly warn Douglas of this error, but anyhow let him entered the simulated world. If this is a dangerous mistake, why not disallow entrance to the simulation until the timer is set?
  • Whenever someone dies in a simulated world, his mind will also die there, and the AI in the simulation will jump "upstairs" to take over the simulation user. This happened to Whittney when he was killed by a truck in the simulated world, which made Ashton appear in the modern world. The system should have a security switch to restore the mind of the user to his body if he gets killed in the simulated world. However, this will instead make the AI in the simulated world suffer, and it is questionnable whether this is an etical design, because there is not much difference between real humans and AIs.

Work and Health

  • As the developer of the simulated world, Dr. Fuller, Ashton, and Douglas should follow strict procedure and regulations of entering the simulation world. Their work should not put their health and life into danger.