Attention, Potterheads: your ultimate Christmas wish has finally come true, because after all these years, there is finally a new Harry Potter book — well, sort of. With the help of their own own digital Polyjuice Potion, the creative geniuses at Botnick Studios transformed themselves into J.K. Rowling and created a new Harry Potter chapter written by bots. You might want to hold your hippogriffs before getting too excited though, because the new story is as awful as finding a bogey flavor in your Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans box — but just as funny as seeing a friend do the same thing.
Botnik Studios, a community of writers, artists, and developers that create unique, collaborative augmented online content, used all seven original Harry Potter books to train predictive keyboards to ghostwrite what they call a "spellbinding" new chapter of the beloved fantasy series. The web-based app used the text of Rowling's books and came up with the most common word phrases a team of real-live human muggles then cherry picked fragments from to create a collaborative new story in the Potter universe. The enchanting title the bot came up with: Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash.
I don't know about you, but I probably wouldn't wait in line all day to buy a copy of that. (Who am I kidding? As long as it has "Harry Potter" in the title, you can take all my money.)
Botnik Studios shared their hilarious creation on Twitter, where they included a cover of Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash, chapter title pages including "The Handsome One," and some of the book's greatest (read: weirdest) quotes. It only takes reading a few sentences to see that when it comes to the bot's artistic talents, the fire's lit, but the cauldron's empty.
In Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash, Harry, an apparent ghost who has deep-seeded issues with birds, finds himself falling "down the spiral staircase for the rest of the summer," but it is Hermione who gets the rawest of deals. Over the course of the new chapter, not only does Ron start to eat her family, but Voldemort mocks her with a shirt that says "Hermione Has Forgotten How To Dance," and Harry dips her in hot sauce. No, I'm not yanking your wand — this is really what the bot came up with.
"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 explained to CNET. The bot may have been trained to write like Rowling, but no one, and apparently nothing, can compete with her genius, not even robots.
Although the new Harry Potter chapter may be a bit off from the original stories, Potterheads are still showing their love for the unique and hilarious story online. Several fans even expressed their desire to own a copy of Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash, while others, including character designer and Disney animator Elsa Chang, even shared their own fun fan art for the new Potter "book."
Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash is just one of the many hilarious creations that can be found on Botnik's site. Their past collaborations include a video montage of outrageous "Dear Abby" letters and responses, an episode of Seinfeld that opens with Jerry threatening to kidnap a dog, and spoofy inspirational posters with quotes like "Dance like a winner hates you."
If you want to see what happens to The Handsome one, find out how Ron magic works, and meet Hufflepuff's new pig mascot, Hagrid, you can read all of Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash on Bornick now.