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.