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Death of Giraffe, but hopefully not ML in chess!
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Matthew Lai



Joined: 03 Aug 2014
Posts: 736
Location: London, UK

PostPost subject: Death of Giraffe, but hopefully not ML in chess!    Posted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:54 pm Reply to topic Reply with quote

It is with great sadness that I am announcing the discontinuation of the Giraffe project. I am not sure why I am making a post about it instead of just having it silently fade away... I suppose it is to give myself some closure. It's something that I had a crazy amount of fun with in the past few months.

I am now an employee of Google DeepMind, and I felt that Giraffe is a bit too close for comfort to what I do at work.

I can only legally use what's public knowledge in Giraffe, but the real world is not so clear-cut. I have been exposed to a lot of really cool machine learning techniques due to the nature of my work, and a lot of times it's difficult to discern what's public knowledge and what isn't. It's no fun knowing there are several techniques I can try that will probably drastically improve Giraffe, when I can't try them because they are still trade secret.

I am sure there are ways to make this work if I really wanted to, but I have many other passions outside of machine learning as well, and at this point it's just much easier to just pick something totally unrelated to work on - where I can go 100% and not have to worry about spilling trade secrets.

Plus, I already do 8 hours of ML a day, 5 days a week. I would like to take a break from ML in my free time, and unfortunately, computer chess is not really interesting to me anymore without ML.

I may pick up Giraffe again if I ever leave DeepMind. That's not likely to be any time soon, though. It's an awesome company with amazing people, amazing research, and amazing free food. What more can you ask for in a job?

Since Giraffe was released under the GPL, anyone is obviously free to pick it up and continue working on it. I hope someone will at least continue exploring using ML in chess, even if not through Giraffe. I achieved all I did in about 4 months of work. It was very much just an early proof of concept. There were many things that I was almost certain would help, but didn't have time to try. Imagine what YOU can achieve if you put in more time than I did. There is still much potential in ML + chess that is begging to be discovered.

Quit the rat race. Just leave Stockfish and Komodo to it. Start taking great risks and work on the next big thing Smile. Machine learning has defeated hand-crafted systems in just about every other field. That will happen in chess, too, and the only question is when.

Keep in mind that Stockfish running at 5 nps (same speed as humans) is still weaker than anyone who has been playing chess for more than 2 weeks.

Disclaimer: This post is all personal opinion, and do not reflect the views of my employer. They have never contacted me about Giraffe (well, besides telling me they like it and to set up the first interview).
_________________
Author of Giraffe, an engine based on deep reinforcement learning. https://bitbucket.org/waterreaction/giraffe/overview
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Subject Author Date/Time
Death of Giraffe, but hopefully not ML in chess! Matthew Lai Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:54 pm
      Re: Death of Giraffe, but hopefully not ML in chess! Steve Maughan Thu Jan 21, 2016 10:16 pm
            Re: Death of Giraffe, but hopefully not ML in chess! Matthew Lai Thu Jan 21, 2016 10:20 pm
                  Re: Death of Giraffe, but hopefully not ML in chess! Mel Cooper Fri Jan 22, 2016 1:38 am
                        Re: Death of Giraffe, but hopefully not ML in chess! Matthew Lai Fri Jan 22, 2016 3:22 am
      Re: Death of Giraffe, but hopefully not ML in chess! Uri Blass Thu Jan 21, 2016 10:39 pm
            Re: Death of Giraffe, but hopefully not ML in chess! Joshua Pettus Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:00 pm
                  Re: Death of Giraffe, but hopefully not ML in chess! Matthew Lai Fri Jan 22, 2016 3:33 am
                        Re: Death of Giraffe, but hopefully not ML in chess! daniel jose Fri Jan 22, 2016 2:25 pm
                              Re: Death of Giraffe, but hopefully not ML in chess! Joshua Pettus Sun Jan 24, 2016 5:37 am
                                    Re: Death of Giraffe, but hopefully not ML in chess! Matthew Lai Sun Jan 24, 2016 9:29 am
                  Re: Death of Giraffe, but hopefully not ML in chess! Michael B Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:48 am
                        Re: Death of Giraffe, but hopefully not ML in chess! Ed Schroder Fri Jan 22, 2016 8:18 am
            Re: Death of Giraffe, but hopefully not ML in chess! Matthew Lai Fri Jan 22, 2016 3:33 am
      Re: Death of Giraffe, but hopefully not ML in chess! Vincent Lejeune Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:55 pm
            Re: Death of Giraffe, but hopefully not ML in chess! Matthew Lai Fri Jan 22, 2016 3:34 am
      Re: Death of Giraffe, but hopefully not ML in chess! AA Ross Fri Jan 22, 2016 1:10 am
            Re: Death of Giraffe, but hopefully not ML in chess! Matthew Lai Fri Jan 22, 2016 3:36 am
                  Re: Death of Giraffe, but hopefully not ML in chess! Carl Bicknell Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:13 pm
                        Re: Death of Giraffe, but hopefully not ML in chess! Jean Baptiste Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:41 pm
                              Re: Death of Giraffe, but hopefully not ML in chess! Nuno Sousa Fri Jan 22, 2016 1:43 pm
                        Re: Death of Giraffe, but hopefully not ML in chess! Matthew Lai Sun Jan 24, 2016 9:27 am
      Re: Death of Giraffe, but hopefully not ML in chess! Graham O'Neill Fri Jan 22, 2016 3:59 am
            Re: Death of Giraffe, but hopefully not ML in chess! Matthew Lai Sun Jan 24, 2016 9:24 am
      Re: Death of Giraffe, but hopefully not ML in chess! Michael B Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:46 am
            Re: Death of Giraffe, but hopefully not ML in chess! Matthew Lai Sun Jan 24, 2016 9:25 am
      Re: Death of Giraffe, but hopefully not ML in chess! Michael B Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:42 am
      Re: Death of Giraffe, but hopefully not ML in chess! duncan roberts Sun Jan 24, 2016 1:29 pm
            Re: Death of Giraffe, but hopefully not ML in chess! Lyudmil Antonov Tue Jan 26, 2016 9:49 am
                  Re: Death of Giraffe, but hopefully not ML in chess! Matthew Lai Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:00 pm
            Re: Death of Giraffe, but hopefully not ML in chess! Matthew Lai Wed Jan 27, 2016 6:31 pm
                  Re: Death of Giraffe, but hopefully not ML in chess! Guenther Simon Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:05 pm
                  Re: Death of Giraffe, but hopefully not ML in chess! Kevin Plant Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:21 pm
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