In early February, Jeremy Stribling, Dan Aguayo and Max Krohn, all students in the computer-science Ph.D.
program at MIT, constructed a paper-generating computer program that they dubbed SCIgen. For two weeks, they scribbled hundreds of sentences, any of which could independently appear in a scientific journal article. The group then excised nouns, verbs and adjectives from those sentences before entering the truncated phrases into their computer program. SCIgen not only arbitrarily assigns scientific (or scientific-sounding) words from a database to the blank spaces, it also assembles every sentence in a random order. The result is nothing so brilliant and amusing as an incoherently structured but readable paper generated in less than 10 seconds.