Who needs JK Rowling?
Skynet may have yet to take over, and we’re not living in The Matrix – AS FAR AS WE KNOW – but that doesn’t mean computers aren’t running shit. They’re delivering packages, jumping boxes, stealing jobs, and now, they’re writing books!
So long as we don’t mind reading mostly gibberish. Wildly entertaining and hilarious gibberish, but still. Gibberish. WE’RE NOT DEAD YET, ROBOTS!
Sorry. But Botnik Studios fed the Harry Potter series to its computers and then let predictive text take a stab at writing a chapter. The results are amusing, and while it doesn’t quite deliver the classic prose J.K. Rowling fans are used to, it’s still better than Twilight!
— Botnik Studios (@botnikstudios) December 12, 2017
This isn’t the first time they’ve done this – you may remember their “exact average” episode of Scrubs.
In which I perform the final monologue of a Scrubs script written by a computer. Happy Holidays. pic.twitter.com/49ftogeB05
— Zach Braff (@zachbraff) December 18, 2017
The Harry Potter chapter Botnik’s bots wrote is titled “The Handsome One,” from the book “Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash,” is full of absurd dialogue and bizarre turns of phrase befitting a machine that doesn’t quite know how people work.
From the unsettling insinuation that Ron is a cannibal (“He saw Harry and immediately began to eat Hermione’s family.”) to inadvertently boiling the Potterverse down to its core (“Magic: It was something that Harry Potter thought was very good.”), The Handsome One is loaded with gems.
The tweet, which includes images of the pages, has over 70,000 likes and 32,000 retweets, and upon reading it, it’s easy to see why. Robots be FUNNY.
Personal favorites include:
- “Ron was going to be spiders. He just was. He wasn’t proud of that, but it was going to be hard to not have spiders all over his body when all is said and done.” – I would’t be proud of that either.
- “The password was ‘BEEF WOMEN.'” – Botnik is clearly not as woke as J.K. Rowling.
- “The tall Death Eater was wearing a shirt that read, “Hermione has forgotten how to dance,” so Hermione dipped his face in mud.” – She was well within her rights!
- “Not so handsome now, thought Harry as he dipped Hermione in hot sauce.” – The subtext has become text.
Botnik describes itself as “a community of writers, artists and developers building and using machine tools to remix and transform language.” And if that chapter is any indication, they’re transforming language all right. Into what, I have no idea, but reading that thing made me laugh and feel nauseous at the same time.
I was not alone.
I'll never become a writer if a computer can out-write me
— Nervatel (@Nervatel) December 13, 2017
Of course, the computer had some human help, as made clear in this tweet from one of the studio’s writers.
It's not automated! We have a team of writers who all use the Botnik predictive text keyboard. We trained keyboards on all 7 books and had a big writing jam. Then I took the best pieces of copy, arranged them into a narrative, and wrote some copy to fill in the gaps.
— Nat Towsen (@NatTowsen) December 12, 2017
That knowledge does little to lessen the terrifying impact of the prose.
WHY IS HARRY POTTER FROM HELL NOW
— 🎄 eLixmas 🎄 (@Lixa123) December 12, 2017