Artificial Intelligence Takes On “Harry Potter” Fan Fiction

It’s the holiday season, and there’s no better way to get in the spirit than with a nice slice of artificial intelligence (AI). As CNET reported, one AI researcher, Janelle Shane, decided to feed her neural network with a combination of pie recipes and Harry Potter fan fiction. The results of the experiment might not be from our Rosmerta’s Recipes section, but some of them don’t sound too bad.

Shane explained on her blog that she can mess with the network and make it more chaotic.

I have ways of messing with the neural net, however. One thing I can do is increase the chaos level of the text it’s generating (in this case, called the ‘temperature’), forcing it to go with its less-likely guesses. Another thing I can do is give it weird text to complete. When I’m asking it to generate more text, I can give it a few example pies and ask it to add to the list (the original list of pies I showed it was alphabetical, so if I give it apple pies it tends to respond with more apple pies). OR, I can give it much weirder text. If I give it a bit of Harry Potter fanfiction [sic], it draws on its previous training and can continue the story. But similarly [sic] to the version of GPT-2 I trained on crochet patterns, it tends to twist the stories around to its special interest. In this case, pie.

Some of the flavors concocted by Shane’s AI included Voldemort Crumble Pie, Mudblood Mincemeat Pies, and Snape Pie with Cheese. While none of those sound particularly appetizing, some of the resulting pie names were slightly better. These included a Pie-Bro from Pizza Particles and a Syrupy Chicken Pie, as Shane noted.

Others were what Shane described as “uniformly a bad idea.”

  • Fog-Crust Pecan Pie
  • Tweezers, Olives, and Seafood Apple Pie
  • Frozen Custard Pie with Three Glorious Chilies
  • Half-Ton Pie Crust
  • Fog-Crust Pecan Pie
  • Pumpkin Ear Pie
  • Onion Cassette Pie
  • Frog-Fudge Pie
  • Ice-Egg Pie
  • Bedtime Oil Tart
  • Half-Tooth Nail Pie
  • Must-Fail Pecan Almonds with Pecan Almond Crust
  • Beef and Cheese Fried Ronald McDonald’s Walnut Chocolate Pie

Any way you slice it, we think that this experiment was pretty entertaining. For more on Janelle Shane’s work, you can visit her blog. Do you have any new pie ideas?

Mary W.

I am a Slytherin, a lifelong fan of Harry Potter, and a member of MuggleNet staff since 2014. In my Muggle life, I am passionate about human rights, and I love to travel around the world and meet new people.