Nuclear Physics Conference Accepts Fake Paper Written by iOS Autocomplete

Christoph Bartneck, who is an associate professor at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, submitted a nonsensical academic paper on nuclear physics written only by iOS autocomplete to the International Conference on Atomic and Nuclear Physics and guess what, it got accepted for the conference.

According to The Guardian, the professor had received an email inviting him to submit a paper for the upcoming conference in the U.S. in November.

Nuclear physics

In a blog post, the professor revealed that since he had practically no knowledge of nuclear physics, he resorted to iOS autocomplete function to help him write the paper. “I started a sentence with ‘atomic’ or ‘nuclear’ and then randomly hit the autocomplete suggestions. The text really does not make any sense”.

Bartneck illustrated the paper, titled, again through autocorrect, “Atomic Energy will have been made available to a single source”, with the first graphic on the Wikipedia entry for nuclear physics.

“The atoms of a better universe will have the right for the same as you are the way we shall have to be a great place for a great time to enjoy the day you are a wonderful person to your great time to take the fun and take a great time and enjoy the great day you will be a wonderful time for your parents and kids,” is a sample sentence from the abstract.

The professor then submitted the paper under a fake identity, associate professor Iris Pear of the U.S., whose experience in atomic and nuclear physics was outlined in a biography using contradictory gender pronouns. The nonsensical paper was accepted only three hours later, in an email asking Bartneck to confirm his slot for the “oral presentation” at the international conference, at the cost of $1099 USD (to be paid in Euros).

An organizer has been contacted by the publication for comment, but hasn’t yet received a reply.

Looks like this conference just wanted to accept all speakers to make some money. Nice try.