AI Writes 9th ‘Harry Potter’ Book And It Makes No Sense

Harry Potter's invisibility cloak may be a reality soon if science has its way.
Harry Potter's invisibility cloak may be a reality soon if science has its way. Warner Bros. Pictures

If J.K. Rowling was ever concerned that artificial intelligence could do her job for her, she let out a sigh of relief this week. A fan of the Harry Potter series in San Francisco had an artificial intelligence computer algorithm write a few chapters for the iconic series, after teaching the computer to read earlier novels. The results are far from ideal.

Max Deutsch, a product manager at Intuit, trained a a Long Short Term Memory (LSTM) Recurrent Neural Network computer by teaching it to read the first four Harry Potter novels. A LSTM computer is trained to notice patterns (say, in genomes or handwriting), which makes it a great test subject for writing patterns.

“I’ve been experimenting with deep learning over the past few weeks, and the Harry Potter story is the result of one of those experiments,” Deutsch told Digital Trends. “Beyond just looking for a fun way to practice what I’ve been learning, the Harry Potter project was an attempt to make something enjoyable to read.”

The outcome of Deutsch’s experiment, published on Medium, was a whole lot of mumbo jumbo. One portion, for example, reads: “Ron didn't even upset her little ingredients on the toilet, and a group of third-year girls last year. Highly bushy and then burst away from them quickly.”

“Creativity is a hard thing to explain, even in the context of humans,” Deutsch told Digital Trends. “If creativity is simply the act of creating something new — often based on connecting pre-existing things in new ways — then you can argue that the Harry Potter neural network was very creative. In fact, this might be the first time anyone, or anything, has constructed the sentence: ‘Dumbledore will get out from behind a cream cake.’”

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