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2018.02.13 AI-Generated Harry Potter and the Potential of AI Novels
In December 2017, a creative community by the name of Botnik Studios became the talk of cyberspace for having created a chapter of "Harry Potter" using an artificial intelligence (AI) program. The passage was published on Botnik's website as "Chapter 13" of "Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash." Japanese readers can get a taste of the text through a full translation available on critic Hiroo Yamagata's personal blog. 

Botnik Studios "wrote" the chapter by using its AI predictive text program ( First, the AI was taught the entire seven volumes of J.K. Rowling’s "Harry Potter" series. Analyzing Rowling’s sentence style, the AI displayed selected words on a predictive text "keyboard." Humans then constructed the sentences from the words available on the keyboard. The edited result became "Chapter 13 - The Handsome One." Although the story unfolds in a bizarre way, characteristics of Rowling’s writing and the Harry Potter world can be seen, and to a certain point, the characters’ personalities come alive.

Botnik Studios is a group of writers, artists, and IT developers that aims to create "strange new things" through the collaboration of machines and humans. Aside from Harry Potter, Botnik Studios has been feeding works by various writers to the AI to use on the predictive keyboard. Other creations by Botnik Studios include "episodes" of popular TV series "Scrubs" and "X-Files." 

This is not the first time that an AI-written novel has gained attention. For example, in 2016, an "AI-written novel" caused a stir in Japan when it passed the preliminary selection in Nikkei’s Hoshi Shin'ichi Literary Prize. The research on AI creations continues to grow. Who knows, we may soon come across new posthumous "works" by literary giants such as Shakespeare and Hemingway.
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