Watch out, writers: artificial intelligence is coming for our jobs. Just take a look at this chapter of Harry Potter fan fiction.
“Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash” is a three-page chapter of literature produced by an algorithm. Trained by Botnik Studios on the meat of Rowling’s expansive magical universe, it’s an author-assisted predictive text document; creator Jamie Brew and other writers helped nudge the algorithm in the right direction. The result is just as weird — and, uncomfortably for some of us, readable — as you might expect, filled with the characters and whimsical vocabulary notable to Rowling. (Logical plot, however, is not its greatest strength.)
Here’s the first paragraph:
Of course, it does drift in unusual directions at times, sounding a bit like a randomized MadLib with Harry Potter fever. For instance: “Ron’s Ron shirt was just as bad as Ron himself,” it continues. “‘If you two can’t clump happily, I’m going to get aggressive,’ confessed the reasonable Hermione.” (Review: some hits, some misses, and a shift in tone towards the oddball reality of magical realism.)