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'Shall I bad stuff?' Read a Harry Potter story written by an algorithm

A guy fed a computer the first four Potter books, but the resulting prose makes about as much sense as one of Ron's mangled spells.


No worries. J.K. Rowling's magic cannot be duplicated by an algorithm.

Warner Bros.

Apparently it's going to be awhile before computers can channel the J.K. Rowling magic.

Max Deutsch, a product manager at software company Intuit, fed a computer the first four Harry Potter books, and asked it to churn out a similar portion. You can reproduce the results at home by carefully cutting each word out of a Potter book, flinging them around your living room, and randomly taping them together.

While the algorithm's chapters put together sentences (somewhat) properly, the content reads as if Rowling was under the influence of some seriously hallucinogenic basilisk venom.

It's tough to pick a favorite phrase from all the loopiness. "Harry collected fingers once more, with Malfoy," makes it sound as if the Potter clan has fallen into a "Hostel" sequel. "Shall I bad stuff I'd need it there and I've been caught after next to us..." is something Draco might slurringly deliver after a late night at a north London hotel bar.

And we don't even want to know what was going on with "Ron didn't even upset her little ingredients on the toilet."

Deutsch has also used the algorithm to produce an episode of HBO's "Silicon Valley" and a song from the hit Broadway musical "Hamilton."