Computational Knowledge Engine Wolfram Alpha Showcased
Article by George Norman
On 04 May 2009
Wolfram Alpha, a search engine developed by British-born physicist and Mathematica creator Stephen Wolfram, has recently been showcased to the world. The search engine, which has been dubbed as a “computational knowledge engine” and provides functionality that surpasses the one provided by traditional search engines, may see the end of its development cycle as early as the middle of May.

The way that Wolfram Alpha works is different from how Google works, for example. With Google you have to provide a search query and then go through all the search results in order to get an answer to your question. With Wolfram Alpha you get to interact with the software as if it were an actual person; just ask a question and the search engine will provide an answer.


“Our goal is to make expert knowledge accessible to anyone, anywhere, anytime. Like interacting with an expert, it will understand what you're talking about, do the computation, and then present you with the results,” explained Dr Wolfram at the demonstration at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Earlier this year he described Wolfram Alpha as a platform that uses “many clever algorithms and heuristics, lots of linguistic discovery and linguistic curation” in order to provide the user wit “access to a huge system, with trillions of pieces of curated data and millions of lines of algorithms”

If you would like to see Dr. Stephen Wolfram showcasing the Wolfram Alpha search engine, a video has been posted online by the Berkman Center – you can watch it here.

Last but not least, Wolfram Alpha will be presented to the user in the form of a web page – visit here. For the time being the site is not yet up and running, but the big banner informs us that it will fire up later this month.

Tags: Wolfram Alpha
About the author: George Norman
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