This Harry Potter AI-generated fanfiction is remarkably good

#artificialintelligence

Harry Potter fans who have already finished reading The Cursed Child and A Journey Through the History of Magic from the past two years have a new chapter in the story of the wizarding boy to tide them over--one brought to us not by J.K. Rowling, but by AI-generated text prediction. Botnik Studios created the three-page chapter, titled "Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash," after training an algorithmic tool on all seven of the children's fantasy novels. The end result is a tale with a plot that feels soulless and meandering but like any good fanfiction, still holds a faint imprint of Rowling's usual lilting whimsical charm.


Porny Presidential Fanfic Isn't Just Kinky--It's Political

WIRED

Internet Rule 34: If it exists, there's porn of it. Punch his name into a fanfiction site search bar, and you'll find yourself awash in NSFW alternate universes. A small and relatively inoffensive sampling (all these links will bring you to far more explicit erotica, so click at your own risk): Mike Pence gets pregnant with Trump's baby, and they haphazardly coparent the infant; Pence and Trump engage in an Inauguration Day sexual tradition; Trump and Shrek bond over their mutual interest in walls and swamps, and become foul-mouthed lovers; Trump and Putin, after sharing "tongue battling" kisses, bring a Shrek doll to life, then have a threesome with the ogre. These kinds of stories tend to be met with a mixture of disgust, confusion, and horrified amusement by the general public--if they bubble into mainstream internet awarness at all. People have been writing porn about their leaders for centuries, and it's not just because people like to fantasize about the rich and famous.


'Sonic Forces' will bring your fanfiction characters to life

Engadget

Until now, Sonic Forces has looked like Sonic Generations 2 in all but name. With trailers showing off levels that switch between classic side scrolling and the 3D perspective of Sonic's more modern adventures, you can forgive gamers for thinking they've played this all before. Today, however, Sega has revealed a third type of gameplay for Sonic Forces -- levels where you control your very own customizable hero. With Sonic's cast of supporting characters not getting a lot of love from fans, Sega is throwing down the gauntlet to gamers and challenging them to do better. Players will be able to select one of seven different types of animal: wolf, rabbit, cat, dog, bear, bird and of course, hedgehog.


Machine learning is totally changing what we think of as literature

#artificialintelligence

The definition of sci-fi is notoriously slippery. For some the genre is defined by its authors and landmark novels – starting with Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea author Jules Verne, or pushing things even further back to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Others argue that it's more about ideas than people. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, for example, calls the genre the "literature of cognitive estrangement." But what if crunching the data on thousands of books could give us a more definite answer?