HOT ON THE HEELS of naming paint, artificial intelligence (AI) has been put in charge of one of the most important jobs in the world - more than president or pope: it's deciding the names of heavy metal bands.
The practice, which had previously been conducted by a secret coven who used a hollowed-out guitar that spat out the names, written on parchment, in blood, like the sorting hat in Harry Potter* has been entrusted to neural networks.
Janelle Shane's blog Postcards From The Frontier of Science fed data from metal-archive.com into CHAR-RNN, a neural network available from Github.
The results are a mixed bag of pure unadulterated rock, identifying not only the name but the sub-genre of metal and where they hail from. Except they don't because they're all made up.
Our favourites? Well, there's Vermit a Thrash/Crossover/Deathcore outfit from the US, ChaosWorge le Plague, a Brazillian Doom Metal collective, and not forgetting Squeen, another Doom Metal group from Columbia.
From Greece, welcome Black Metal group Black Clonic Sky while the Melodic Black Metal band Vomberdean hail from the US. Finally, we love Suffer The Blue a Death/Thrash Metal group from Germany.
There's plenty more where that came from. It works by picking a letter, then using its sudden encyclopaedic knowledge of metal to pick the most likely next letter of the band name and so on.
This is one of a number of neural network projects that Shane has worked on, which she mostly seems to do for her own amusement.
Also this week, she has brought the world new 80's Action Figures using the same technique. Suggestions include: Action Bun, Bluck-ing Ding Tark, Slimetrat, Ninja Rain, Stank Spenker, Pumble Cat Stalking Spanking Narlo-tie Dere, Sharktroll, Blaster With Man Dreads, Snack Blast, Disky Thik Topping Toth Ottamus Prime and of course Sewer Man With Slag Light.
With material like that, it's a wonder that Mattel hasn't been on the phone already demanding the rights.
Meanwhile, this seems as good a time as any to remind you that Elon Musk-worshipping metal band Raptor Command is a thing and has some new material that seems unavoidable. µ
*this bit is complete bollocks, by the way.
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