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Predictive Keyboard Tries To Write a New Harry Potter Chapter (cnet.com) 65

Long-time Slashdot reader Baron_Yam writes, "Some AI news items are amusing. This is one of those." ProKras reports: What do you get when a predictive keyboard app tries to write a new Harry Potter story? Apparently, you get Chapter 13 from Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash.

The folks at Botnik Studios trained their keyboard using all 7 Harry Potter novels by J.K. Rowling. They used one set of training data for narration and another for dialogue. Then a bunch of team members got together in a chat room and pitched the best (worst?) lines created using the keyboard, and Botnik editors assembled them into a cohesive(ish) chapter of a story.

The results are about as ridiculous as you might imagine. For example, at one point Ron Weasley "saw Harry and immediately began to eat Hermione's family. Ron's Ron shirt was just as bad as Ron himself." It is never explained how Hermonie knew that the password to a certain locked door was "BEEF WOMEN," nor why "the pig of Hufflepuff pulsed like a large bullfrog." Maybe that was covered in Chapter 12.

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Predictive Keyboard Tries To Write a New Harry Potter Chapter

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  • With the help of a little LSD, we could probably understand it.
    • by Rei ( 128717 )

      My favourite part is where the Death Eaters start making out. ;) I imagine someone has already shipped this...

      • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

        Sounds like typical fanfic to me. Maybe we really have achieved artificial intelligence.

        • Sounds like typical fanfic to me. Maybe we really have achieved artificial intelligence.

          "Not so handsome now", thought Harry as he dipped Hermione in hot source. The Death Eaters were dead now, and Harry was starting to get hungry.

          • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

            "Not so handsome now", thought Harry as he dipped Hermione in hot source. The Death Eaters were dead now, and Harry was starting to get hungry.

            One can interpret some of those words in a couple of different ways, and one of the interpretations (not the literal one, the vulgar one) sounds very much like typical fanfic.

  • It's coming (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lucm ( 889690 ) on Saturday December 16, 2017 @07:07PM (#55752929)

    Soon computers will generate better entertainment than people.

    A majority of books published on Amazon are garbage anyways and all Hollywood is able to produce nowadays is sequels of sequels, or reboots switching genders and races but keeping the same vapid plots.

    To anyone from a distant future reading this: please know that it's our greed and laziness that paved the way to a world dominated by machines; whatever nightmarish AI-driven civilization you live in is basically self-inflicted.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Hal_Porter ( 817932 )

      Orwell mused about producing books by machinery as a way for a totalitarian state to have fiction without having any actual authors who might develop heretical political opinions.

      http://www.orwell.ru/library/e... [orwell.ru]

      It would probably not be beyond human ingenuity to write books by machinery. But a sort of mechanizing process can already be seen at work in the film and radio, in publicity and propaganda, and in the lower reaches of journalism. The Disney films, for instance, are produced by what is essentially a factory process, the work being done partly mechanically and partly by teams of artists who have to subordinate their individual style. Radio features are commonly written by tired hacks to whom the subject and the manner of treatment are dictated beforehand: even so, what they write is merely a kind of raw material to be chopped into shape by producers and censors. So also with the innumerable books and pamphlets commissioned by government departments. Even more machine-like is the production of short stories, serials, and poems for the very cheap magazines. Papers such as the Writer abound with advertisements of literary schools, all of them offering you ready-made plots at a few shillings a time. Some, together with the plot, supply the opening and closing sentences of each chapter. Others furnish you with a sort of algebraical formula by the use of which you can construct plots for yourself. Others have packs of cards marked with characters and situations, which have only to be shuffled and dealt in order to produce ingenious stories automatically. It is probably in some such way that the literature of a totalitarian society would be produced, if literature were still felt to be necessary. Imagination - even consciousness, so far as possible - would be eliminated from the process of writing. Books would be planned in their broad lines by bureaucrats, and would pass through so many hands that when finished they would be no more an individual product than a Ford car at the end of the assembly line. It goes without saying that anything so produced would be rubbish; but anything that was not rubbish would endanger the structure of the state. As for the surviving literature of the past, it would have to be suppressed or at least elaborately rewritten.

      And in 1984 the Prolefeed is produced by machines - he was writing before computers were widely known so they use 'a special kind of kaleidoscope known as a versificator'.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

      And the Ministry had not only to supply the multifarious needs of the party, but also to repeat the whole operation at a lower level for the benefit of the proletariat. There was a whole chain of separate departments dealing with proletarian literature, music, drama, and entertainment generally. Here were produced rubbishy newspapers containing almost nothing except sport, crime and astrology, sensational five-cent novelettes, films oozing with sex, and sentimental songs which were composed entirely by mechanical means on a special kind of kaleidoscope known as a versificator. There was even a whole sub-section-Pornosec, it was called in Newspeak-engaged in producing the lowest kind of pornography, which was sent out in sealed packets and which no Party member, other than those who worked on it, was permitted to look at.

    • Many sports articles and business news articles have already been computer produced for several years now [theguardian.com]. Fiction can't be far off.

      I look forward to being able to sit down, put a headset on, and enter a VR world with a storyline produced in real-time per what my assistant knows about my mood.

  • And yet ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Calydor ( 739835 ) on Saturday December 16, 2017 @07:24PM (#55752981)

    ... it's still a better love story than Twilight.

    • With a more sensible plot than any Michael Bay movie.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    They tried to implement an infinite number of monkeys.

  • This is just a bunch of geeks playing Madlibs [madlibs.com] on a computer...
  • by AvderTheTerrible ( 1960234 ) on Saturday December 16, 2017 @08:57PM (#55753253)

    This chapter is far more coherent, and infinitely more entertaining, than most of Donald Trumps bumbling blatherskite speeches.

  • "Not so handsome now", thought Harry as he dipped Hermione in hot source...

    What is this, slashdot trolling?

  • And just when you thought it can't get any worse than Star Trek Fanfic...

  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Sunday December 17, 2017 @12:48AM (#55753915) Homepage Journal

    Here's output I generated with one that is trained on Carl Sagan's Cosmos:

    The universe is finite but unbounded. The red shift of the cosmos in terms of the speed of light is generated from the same laws underlying nature.

    There are many different ways in which stars are born in our universe; in all directions that we know of light is generated then it takes millions of years until its density becomes enriched in heavy elements. Virtually everything else in our universe has been sculpted by change: the earth, the sun, and the moon and the stars.

    Some think that when we go to the very edge of the cosmos, there will be no brains quite like ours. Mutation and natural selection are basically random processes sparked in our genes and so fast that there must be 28,000 times more information content in our human species as the earth has mechanisms to form new knowledge. Our individual dots of information content, like our universe, have survived slow stages of human history ; such changes can clearly be determined from everyday experience.

    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

      That's a bit strange, should have trained on "hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy" too in order to at least get some decent fun out of it!

  • by abies ( 607076 ) on Sunday December 17, 2017 @05:38AM (#55754511)

    Ron smiled. Ron reached for his wand slowly.
    "Ron's the handsome one", muttered Harry as he reluctantly reach for his. [...]. Ron flinched.
    "Not so handsome now", thought Harry as he dipped Hermione in hot sauce.

  • Your daddy's skynet this AI is not. Even Arnold had better lines than this AI written mess.

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