Friday, October 26, 2007
Alex Smith, a undergraduate electrical engineering student at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, has proven that a primitive type of computer known as a 2,3 Turing machine can solve every computational problem there is. Stephen Wolfram
We don't have to carefully build things up with engineering. We can just go out and search in the computational universe, and find things like universal computers--that are simple enough that we can imagine making them out of molecules.
The solution isn't hugely relevant to modern computer science, says Scott Aaronson, a computer scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. "Most theoretical computer scientists don't particularly care about finding the smallest universal Turing machines," he wrote in an e-mail. "They see it as a recreational pursuit that interested people in the 60s and 70s but is now sort of 'retro'."
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