Him: We have all grown up. Nobody expects a Singularity anytime soon any more, as we used to, 10 years ago.

Me: I haven’t grown up.

Him: I know. But be realistic, we have no idea how brains work, nor do we have any idea of what algorithms might bypass the brain.

Another guy: The Moor’s law alone isn’t enough, we have no idea what to put into these machines or how to program them.

Me: You are both wrong, we have the (Universal!) Levin search, for example.

Him: What is that, another Solomonoff induction or something?

Me: Yes, you could say that.

Him: It’s useless. With it, you’d need exponential resources to solve even a minor problem. Sure it’s possible with an infinite amount of computation, in which case it would be a super-intelligence, but you don’t have unlimited processing power required — so you don’t have anything useful with this Levine search.

Me: It just so happens, that we have the Hutter paper which considers the Levin search.

Him: Who’s Hutter? What’s this paper about?

Me: The paper demonstrates, that if the best possible algorithm to sort a certain list requires N steps, then the Levin search can find this optimal sorting algorithm in 5*N steps. At the most. The same is true for any other algorithm, if the optimal algorithm can do something in a second, you can invent this same algorithm in 5 seconds, at most!

Him: Really? I can’t believe that’s true. That would indeed be a superintelligence. But I don’t think that’s possible. There must be some big constant involved here.

Me: The constant is 5 now, it was much greater before Hutter’s paper. Google it, I’ll not help you there. Even funnier theorems have been proven before, funnier, but none of the same importance, I admit.

Him: If that’s really true, I will change sides. Has anybody implemented at least a portion of the Levin search method, using Hutter’s theorem yet?

Me: Maybe they haven’t, maybe they have, Google it yourself! But you’ll find nothing in either case because if someone *is *using it they probably won’t speak openly about it. For the pure theory, however, Google will bring you enough.

Him: Do you realize what kind of danger the existence of such a possibility could pose?

Me: I don’t share your concerns at all, but you already know that.