It is exactly 10 years, 4 months, and 23 days since the seventh and final Harry Potter book came out. To read up on the boy wizard’s latest shenanigans, you’ll have to rely on the imagination of an artificial intelligence (AI) bot.
Fortunately for all you Potterheads, the team at Botnik have released a new book just in time for the holidays, intriguingly titled Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash. Well, as of right now it’s just one chapter, but fingers crossed the full story will be available very soon.
The results are equal parts appalling and hilarious, and while we’re not so sure what JK Rowling would make of the attempt, we definitely recommend a read if you want a quick giggle.
For starters, there are some gem sentences like these:
“To Harry, Ron was a loud, slow, and soft bird. Harry did not like to think about birds.”
“The tall Death Eater was wearing a shirt that said ‘Hermione Has Forgotten How to Dance,’ so Hermione dipped his face in mud.”
The chapter was “written” by a predictive text keyboard that had been fed all seven of the Harry Potter novels. This is the Botnik’s first writing tool, which works by suggesting word combinations based on the text it has “read”.
It starts by setting the scene.
“The castle grounds snarled with a wave of magically magnified winds. The sky outside was a great black ceiling, which was full of blood.”
And quickly takes a turn for the ridiculous.
“Leathery sheets of rain lashed at Harry’s ghost as he walked across the grounds towards the castle. Ron was standing there and doing a kind of frenzied tap dance. He saw Harry and immediately began to eat Hermione’s family.”
It gets even more gruesome.
“Harry tore his eyes from his head and threw them into the forest.”
Botnik is a “community of writers, artists and developers building and using machine tools to remix and transform language.”
Aside from the antics of Harry, Ron, and Hermione, you can find AI-written historical romance stories (“He’s a virus, she’s a boot process. Soon they are procreating like a pair of canadian sic. physics majors.”); Buzzfeed quizzes (“Find out which biblical plague best represents your love life”); and Christmas carols (“It’s Christmas time this Christmas/Please don’t ask me for laughter”).
If the above is anything to go by, we can safely say humans have the upper hand when it comes to storytelling – at least, for now. But what we want to know is will there be a movie?