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Link MA and AI / 2023-04-01 02:05

Hello everyone,

There are some big changes coming to the way we do things here on MA. I'm sure most of you have noticed the recent rapid advances in AI technology, such as the amazing results that software like ChatGPT and Midjourney can produce. So we've begun to think, could something similar be used for the betterment of MA? One of our main jobs is of course to evaluate bands for inclusion on the site. This is a very time-consuming process, often leaves people dissatisfied (both mods and submitters), and while we do our utmost to reach an impartial consensus on our decisions, the human element means that there is always a degree of subjectivity involved. Would it be possible to use AI technology to develop an entirely unbiased and scientific way of determining if a band is metal?

As it turns out, yes. Yes, it is. We've spent the last couple months training an AI algorithm on hundreds and hundreds of songs of every genre and have ended up with a very solid model for predicting whether a band is metal or not to a high degree of accuracy. This means that in the near future, we will be able to evaluate band submissions completely objectively based on sound wave analysis and cold computer logic. For the moment, we will be using this AI model manually to double check the results, but we hope to eventually be able to simply let submitters give a Bandcamp or Spotify link, and the automated system will do the rest!

Now, there is one small issue. Algorithms like this create their own way of "thinking" about things, so to speak, and this can sometimes find patterns and details that escape human beings. As such, one very surprising result about metal subgenres came out of our experiments. See, if we throw, say, doom metal at the model, sure, that's fine. Death metal? No problem. Traditional heavy metal? Of course! It's even quite good at determining if the more borderline genres are predominantly metal or not. But... Black metal? It was quite a shocking discovery, but it does appear that when analyzed scientifically, it turns out that black metal isn't actually metal. I know! We were taken aback, too! We even spent a good amount of time redoing the tests while tweaking the parameters and such, but the results remained very consistent: scientifically speaking, black metal is false.

Now, what shall we do about this? Remove all black metal from the site? Well, it sounded crazy at first, but the more we thought about it... It might actually make sense. MA has always prided itself on its accuracy, and now that it can be scientifically proven that a good number of bands on here aren't metal, it stands to reason that they shouldn't be here at all. It's not completely unprecedented either, since there have been purges of some niche subgenres in the past, though on a much smaller scale. In the end, we think that the opportunity to be 100% consistent and objective in how we do things trumps the inconvenience. Besides, let's face it, I think deep down we all know that black "metal" has always been the worst subgenre. This move should also cut down on at least 70% of band-related drama on the site. Overall, I think we can consider this a win-win.

This is why, in the next few days, we will begin to remove BM bands from the site. This will be a gradual effort since every band needs to be evaluated again. Of course, many black metal bands also incorporate elements from the true metal genres in their sound, and these will be allowed to remain if they are determined to be predominantly metal. This way, you can at least rest assured that the better bands in the genre will stay on MA.

Thank you for your comprehension, and we hope this new technology and classification can usher in a new age of enlightenment for the metal community as a whole.