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The lost philosophy resurrected by Machine Learning

Google’s AlphaZero convincingly defeated the strongest Chess engine Stockfish. Even if you’re not a fan of Chess, this showdown reveals important life lessons.

AlpheZero played Chess against itself. It understood outcomes like a win, loss, or draw. Apart from that, it was on its own.

1. Don’t compare yourself to others, compare yourself to who you were yesterday

Over the course of 4 hours of training, it had surpassed the strength any other Chess engine in history. In those 4 hours it played itself millions of times. With each experience it learned something. The next game it could see slighter further.

2. Learn at least one thing from each meaningful experience

In game 10 AlphaZero sacrifices a piece for long term activity. It would be a further 30 moves until it won material, an exchange in the endgame and Stockfish resigns the lost position. AlphaZero didn’t evaluate the position based on points, like all contemporary engines, it evaluated the position on what is likely to give it the best chance of winning.

3. Focus on what matters