back to article OpenAI's GPT-2 secret life as a pawn star: Boffins discover talkative machine-learning model can play chess

GPT-2, OpenAI’s giant text-generating language model, can play chess – despite having no prior knowledge of the game’s rules. That may seem pretty odd, at first. The system is mostly well-known for spitting out passages of text after receiving a sentence or two as a prompt, after all. Trained on around eight million newspaper …

  1. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Shirley if its learned PGN

    it would just strut about on the board kicking the pieces over and strutting like it had won?

  2. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

    "Would you like a nice game of chess?"

    "No, let's play Global Thermonuclear War"

    1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge


      He hacked the system w an IMSAI 8080. ( yes I am old enough to know my pc s )

      One would have thought ‘Mike’ aka Adam Selene would have been a better sci-fi reference.

      ‘The Moon is a Harsh Mistress’

      But I’m just being grumpy....

  3. JDX Gold badge

    AlphaZero famously is really really good at learning to play chess, but proprietary from Google and runs on specialist hardware.

    Leela Chess Zero is a hobby/OS project based on the same principles which has gone from being (relatively) terrible to beating many advanced engines in the space of a year or so, which is pretty fascinating.

    StockFish represents the old guard of chess AI.

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      But being old guard it might just provide a consistent measuring stick

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Except they keep improving it. And I'm fairly sure SF are jumping on the self-learning bandwagon too.

  4. 28d073f4

    And so it begins...

  5. Starace Silver badge

    So just like its other output

    Everything GPT-2 has ever produced (like fake news articles) is quite convincing at the start then quickly wanders off into garbage.

    It just isn't that good, and definitely struggles to stay on track. A convincing opening can just be cribbed straight from training data but getting past that...

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