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Oh I see: for that specific instance of the task.

I'd like to see someone make this AI, I want to know how it could be done.

Observe the contents of RAM as it's changing? I'm not 100% sure of the mechanism of said observations, but I'm assuming a real AI would be able to do things on a computer that we can't - much as we can easily recognise an object in an image.

the problem with this is the state space is so large that it cannot explore every transition, so it can't follow transitions backwards in a straight forward manner as you've proposed. It needs some kind of intuition to minimize the search space, to generalize it.

Unfortunately I'm not sure what that would look like. :(

(Wow, this was from a while back) I wasn't suggesting that the AI might try to calculate the reverse sequence of moves. I was suggesting that, if the cube-shuffling program is running on the same computer, then the AI might learn to cheat by, in effect, looking over the shoulder of the cube-shuffler and simply writing down all the moves in a list; then it can 'solve' the cube by simply running the list backwards.