Harry Potter chapter written by bots is magically terrible – CNET


Is there a spell that can write more Harry Potter books that aren’t robotic-sounding?

Warner Bros

J.K. Rowling, you’re in no danger of being replaced any time soon.

The bright Muggles at Botnik Studios trained predictive keyboards (one for narration, one for dialogue) on all seven Harry Potter books and produced a brand-new chapter about the young wizard. And great sizzling dragon bogies, is it awful.

“Our web keyboard app analyzes text files and offers the most common word sequences as suggestions to the human user, to help them write in the style of the source material,” Botnik CEO and co-founder Jamie Brew told CNET. (There’s a David Bowie-lyric version too.) “Then a bunch of writers in the Botnik community got together in an online chat room and pitched lines they wrote using the keyboard. Our editorial team cobbled these fragments together into the full chapter we posted today.”

Even the book title the bot constructed is hilariously horrible: Would you line up at a Barnes & Noble at midnight to buy a copy of “Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash”?

There are plot twists Rowling never imagined. Ron Weasley “immediately began to eat Hermione’s family,” while wearing something called a “Ron shirt.” Hufflepuff House has a pig that pulses like a large bullfrog. Ron “was going to be spiders. He just was.” One of Hogwarts’ passwords is “BEEF WOMEN.” And not to spoil the ending, but Harry falls down a staircase “for the rest of the summer” before issuing an overconfident warning.

“The reaction has been great,” Brew told CNET. “I think my favorite response so far is this amazing art by character designer Elsa Chang.”

There’s also a Botnik-ed version of an “X-Files” episode, if you want to believe — in howlingly bad computer writing.

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