First, we have the natural algorithms. They can be found all around us. Some are somehow built into the structure of the Universe, we call them natural laws (like Gravity). Some of them are more of a local domain and not that precise. Trees loosing their leafs in October and growing them back in April in the Northern hemisphere – is one of them. Or “Be scared of a snake, monkey!” algorithm, does us more good than harm. The protein folding algorithms inside our cells enable us to operate. And so on.
Looking at everything through these optics makes a lot of sense to me.
Then, we have the artificial algorithms. Of Euclides, Diophantus, Archimedes and many more, especially nowadays . Those are the artificial algorithms of the first order.
This is an artificial algorithm of the second order. An algorithm invented by another artificial algorithm. It’s almost 10 years old now and not widely known, yet you can Google it with some benchmarks as well.
Unfortunately, this second order algorithm is not able to produce another algorithm of the third order and the story stops right there.
But does it? Can a recursively self improving algorithm be constructed such that the millionth improved version of the original would be much more powerful than its ancestor?
I am pretty sure it can be. And that it shall not be the next big thing when it arrives, but the first big thing ever, leaving electricity in the dust.
How to build a Recursively Self Enhancing Algorithm is today’s most important unsolved mathematical problem. Forget the Riemann Conjecture or the P?=NP conundrum! If those two along with a million of others are solvable, they will be solved via the RSEA anyway. If you are an ambitious genius go for RSEA, even if your chances are not so great. It is my advice, but I can give you no hints. Except that if you think it can’t be done due to Goedel’s Incompleteness or whatever other reason, then don’t even bother!
Eventually somebody will probably build it and this self improving algorithm will be indistinguishable from a superintelligence.
It will be a great day to live. Our Finest Hour.