Motivation, reward and punishment

I like this quote:

“Once you understand the motivation, reward and punishment structure of any system, you can begin to control it.”

– Guido Van Rossum (founder of the Python programming language)

I once heard Cesar Millan (the Dog Whisperer) say all dogs like at least 1 of these 3 different rewards:
– Toys
– Food
– Affection

Once you know the type of reward a dog responds to best, it makes it much easier to train!

Hugsy likes toys, food, and affection:


Sid is primarily motivated by food, and is “meh” on the rest:


Poe mostly responds to affection:

Knowing the reward/punishment structure seems to help in any system!

– Training neural networks
– Training dogs
– Raising kids

Guido Van Rossum (founder of Python)