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WolframAlpha search engine and death metal

WolframAlpha search engine and death metal
May 28, 2009, 06:36:08 PM
Worth thinking about:

There's a real paucity of qualified information about the musical sub-genres death metal and black metal. Google it, and you get some really good results mixed in with a mess of chaotic promotions.

Is there a way to teach WolframAlpha about the parameters of a musical community, and what to look for in information? Also maybe a grammar filter to pick the more complex replies and filter out the "itz brutal d00d" type stuff?


Google does a great job, but there's a lot of chaotic and dumb muck being fed into it. It'd be nice to see an expert system like Wolfram Alpha "understand" death metal.

Probably filtering out pages with excessive amounts of myspace links would be a good start. Also, filtering out pages with excessive amounts of lists might work. I'm sure it can be programmed to recognize the 'number, text, break, number' pattern of a list. Also, lists that are just bands names separated by commas would be easy to filter out. Frequently used text like, "Check out this new band" are easy to filter. This is a very plausible concept.  The only problem is that the good sites will have these things too. How does one determine the line between acceptable level and excessive amount.

Is Wolfram|Alpha a search engine?
No. It's a computational knowledge engine: it generates output by doing computations from its own internal knowledge base, instead of searching the web and returning links.

So there, wolfram alpha won't ever care about "understanding" death metal. What you might eventually have though, is factual information about bands, albums and songs. A partnership with a stable version of metal-archives would probably be the most interesting prospect with regards to this.

I don't think this is going to work for death metal/black metal. Here's why:

"Where does Wolfram|Alpha's data come from?
Many different sources, combined and curated by the Wolfram|Alpha team. At the bottom of each relevant results page there's a "Source information" button, which provides background sources and references."

So, it's like wikipedia, but with slicker presentation, and a smaller core of people that manage the content. Anti democratic, at least. Nice. But who is on their "team"? Probably not philosopher kings.

"How does Wolfram|Alpha compare to Wikipedia?
Wikipedia gives you pages of narrative about topics. Wolfram|Alpha computes answers to specific questions you ask, just giving facts, not narrative. Wolfram|Alpha often includes sidebar links to Wikipedia."

Well, what's a fact? LAWL

I think the only way this is going to work is if it limits itself to being a sort of front end for Mathematica.

Irrefutable proof that the possibilities of wolfram alpha are limitless! And I disagree that they should try to restrict themselves only to the mathematical world (an area in which it is excellent already by the way). On the contrary, the wider their reach, the more powerful the engine becomes, and the more useful its comparison capacities will get. Just think of how fascinating it could be if you could just input something like "Bruckner Symphony No. 7 first movement bar 1 vs Schubert symphony no. 9 second movement bar 5" and to get thrown back at you the actual scores side to side along with an analysis of what's going on (key, chord frequency, orchestration, anything).