This Harry Potter AI-generated fanfiction is remarkably good

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.

Both the chapter and the predictive text program—available on GitHub—is the work…

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Miami Art Basel: where art reckons with technology

The Moon glowed against tufts of eerie night clouds. A few hundred people joined Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta, the Dutch founders of Studio Drift to wait in anticipation. If the winds kicked up, the hours of work invested in their installation would be for naught, but the sea looked calm. At 10PM an illuminated pack of 300 drones rose above the Miami beach shoreline, over high-rise hotels, and traveled across the Atlantic Ocean horizon.

The work was called “Franchise Freedom” and what was most impressive about it was the impact. The drones hovered in the night sky and moved in formation. In synchronicity, they became objects of delicate beauty, like the migratory birds they mimicked. It wasn’t the technical feat to make drones fly…

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An auto-tweeting ‘baby poop’ video is worming its way through Twitter

Twitter is seeing a Tuesday rush of spam from an unofficial app claiming itself to be “Twitter Video.” When a user falls for the guise and authorizes the app, it starts auto-tweeting from their account. A fake video titled “Baby Poops in His Onesie, But Dog’s Response Leaves Millions of People in Hysterics” has seemingly resulted in a wave of people falling for the hoax.

The spam has affected Clara Jeffery, editor-in-chief of Mother Jones, and others like Dwight Garner, book critic for the New York Times, although Garner shortly deleted the tweet afterward. That’s understandable as the app, somehow called Twitter Video, looks deceivingly official. And who wouldn’t want to see that video if the description were accurate?

I…

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Netflix is bringing The Punisher back for a second season

The first season of Netflix’s The Punisher arrived at an awkward time in America’s history with gun violence, but that isn’t stopping the streaming service from bringing it back for a second season. Netflix made the announcement today in a post on the show’s Facebook page, simply noting that “Season 2 is coming.” The Marvel series follows Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal), who takes the law into his own hands — along with a whole lot of guns.

Almost as an unintended contrast to the news about the psychopathic anti-hero, Netflix also announced today that it has ordered six new original series from DreamWorks Animation Television. The titles range in subject matter, from Trolls: The Beat Goes On!, a sequel series to the 2016 feature film, to The…

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Samsung’s unannounced Galaxy A8 and A8 Plus expected to have dual front cameras

A new generation of Samsung’s Galaxy A-series phones are rumored for a release this January, as reported by Android Police. A user manual was uploaded online to Samsung’s website, which provides minimal details on what we can expect for next year’s new A-series phones.

It appears that the phones’ big highlight feature will be dual front-facing cameras, with Live Focus available for selfies, but there’s no information yet on how many megapixels they are. The manual also confirms that the phones will have a 18:9 aspect ratio with slim bezels, like many other new phones released in the past year. The rear fingerprint sensor also looks like it’s located below the rear camera, for easier access than previous Samsung models like the Note 8.

T…

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