Gibberish Accepted into Science Competition

Once again, the gatekeepers of science prove easy to fool: Three MIT students were tired of receiving repeated spam requesting submissions to the 2005 World Multi-Conference of Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics, so they wrote a simple computer program to generate a nonsensical paper, which they submitted. It was accepted by human reviewers, according to the New Scientist

Starting with skeleton sentences, pools of nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs, and a assortment of computer science jargon, the program produced a grammatically correct yet utterly nonsensical paper titled: “Rooter: a methodology for the typical unification of access points and redundancy”. “This isn’t artificial intelligence, it’s the dirt-simplest way we could think to do this,” Stribling says. The conference organisers say that the paper was sent to human reviewers, who never commented on it, so it ended up being automatically accepted. The conference has now banned the paper. But the pranksters are still planning to give a computer-generated talk at the conference by persuading a human speaker to let them take his or her place.

Do you think the presentations on systemics, cybernetics and informatics might all sound similar, computer generated or not?

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