Gödel Machines: Fully Self-referential Optimal Universal Self-improvers

  • Jürgen Schmidhuber
Part of the Cognitive Technologies book series (COGTECH)


We present the first class of mathematically rigorous, general, fully self-referential, self-improving, optimally efficient problem solvers. Inspired by Kurt Gödel’s celebrated self-referential formulas (1931), such a problem solver rewrites any part of its own code as soon as it has found a proof that the rewrite is useful, where the problem-dependent utility function and the hardware and the entire initial code are described by axioms encoded in an initial proof searcher which is also part of the initial code. The searcher systematically and efficiently tests computable proof techniques (programs whose outputs are proofs) until it finds a provably useful, computable self-rewrite. We show that such a self-rewrite is globally optimal—no local maxima!—since the code first had to prove that it is not useful to continue the proof search for alternative self-rewrites. Unlike previous non-self-referential methods based on hardwired proof searchers, ours not only boasts an optimal order of complexity but can optimally reduce any slowdowns hidden by the O()-notation, provided the utility of such speed-ups is provable at all.


Utility Function Inference Rule Turing Machine Problem Solver Axiomatic System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jürgen Schmidhuber
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.IDSIAManno (Lugano)Switzerland
  2. 2.TU MunichGarching, MünchenGermany

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