Procedural generation isn't just for video game landscapes and galaxies. The technique for creating vast amounts of realistic but uncannily superficial content goes back a long way. Pfizer used it to generate drug names in 1956, feeding code to an IBM mainframe and getting potential products in return.
James Ryan (@xfoml) posted excerpts from news article from the time (above), and it's fascinating to read how it's described for a mid-1950s lay audience to whom computers and their ways were utterly alien.
Based on the newspaper's description, Hugo (@hugovk) reimplemented the 60-year-old generator, and now you too can generate thousands of realistic but uncannily superficial drug names.
NEW DRUG NAMES
IMPROPER FOR A FAMILY MEDICINE CHEST
From the full output list I like "coughedore" -- like a stevedore, but for unloading mucus.
I wonder how long it took Pfizer to realize that procgen is useless.
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