Wolfram Alpha Search Engine Goes Live
Article by George Norman
On 18 May 2009
Earlier this month, British-born physicist and Mathematica creator Stephen Wolfram showcased his Wolfram Alpha computational knowledge engine to the world and said that it will be able to provide functionality that surpasses traditional search engines by the middle of May. It seems that his words were true as the Wolfram Alpha web page (visit here) is now up and running, ready to take on and provide adequate answers to your questions.

“Wolfram|Alpha aims to bring expert-level knowledge and capabilities to the broadest possible range of people—spanning all professions and education levels. Our goal is to accept completely free-form input, and to serve as a knowledge engine that generates powerful results and presents them with maximum clarity. Wolfram|Alpha is an ambitious, long-term intellectual endeavor that we intend will deliver increasing capabilities over the years and decades to come. With a world-class team and participation from top outside experts in countless fields, our goal is to create something that will stand as a major milestone of 21st century intellectual achievement,” explains the About page.

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The thing is that Wolfram Alpha was set to debut on Friday, the 15th of May (dead in the middle of the month), but a snag caused the release to be postponed. At the time the team was announcing it is quite busy “resolving network infrastructure, database, and all sorts of other challenges, made particularly interesting by the sheer scale and complexity of launching two supercomputer-class clusters along with three other locations” and was expecting the site to behave sluggish over the weekend, but come back in full force on Monday. The Wolfram Alpha site eventually debuted late Friday evening, and today, Monday, it is working beautifully.

In related search engine news, it must be said that exciting things are happening in the Google camp as well. Google Squared, which was announced by the Mountain View search engine giant at the Searchology 2009 event, has also gone live – the site is up, but not running (details here).



Tags: Wolfram Alpha
About the author: George Norman
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