//…. still busy with assignments, ok let’s go for a quick post. What is Wolfram Alpha? Have you heard about it, hmm … its a movie? a new operating system? a robot? a search engine? Guess !!
Well Wolfram Alpha is a new way to get answers from the web, they called it the “computational knowlegde engine”. Wolfram Alpha engine will be able to process questions people ask in natural language like “What percentage of the human body is water?”. Instead of returning links to pages that may contain the answer to your questions, this search engine will respond with the actual answer.
Don’t get confused, its not like Google search engine. Google is not intelligent, the following search results make Google to appear intelligent but its not the case. These values have been fetched from a database.
1. One dollar in mauritian rupees
2. Atomic mass of plutonim
3. Circumference of the earth
I think Wolfram will have the ability to reason based on information about the subject and to understand natural language. In a blog post Stephen Wolfram said:
“Getting computers to deal with natural language has turned out to be incredibly difficult … Wolfram Alpha …With one simple input field that gives access to a huge system, with trillions of pieces of curated data and millions of lines of algorithms”.
Will Wolfram Alpha be a sucess ? Lets wait and see …
How they are different from Google?
They are not trying to index the web, instead they are trying to compute data(knowledge) of the web using natural language algorithms. Wolfram computes answers, it doesn’t look them up in a database. It allows someone to ask scientific(technology, music, weather and more) questions and it compute the answers.
Wolfram Alpha is built on top of 5 million lines of Mathematica code running on top of about 10,000 CPUs.
Who is behind this computational data engine?
Stephen Wolfram, a British physicist, mathematician and businessman known for his work in theoretical particle physics, cosmology, cellular automata, complexity theory, and computer algebra. ~ From Wikipedia
He built that engine based on his previous research and works Mathematica and A New Kind of Science.
Visit WolframAlpha … Launching May 2009 … I’m excited to test this new engine. If(it’s a really big IF) this really works, its going to be a big thing.