Can WolframAlpha Search Engine Live Up To Its Hype?

There is not doubt that the anticipated launch of the WolframAlpha search engine has created quite a buzz in the media, but we will have to wait and see if the new search engine lives up to the hype.

The WolframAlpha search engine is the brain child of Dr. Stephen Wolfram, an award winning physicist.

The new search technology used by WolframAlpha will reportedly understand and respond to ordinary language the way people do.

Although the WolframAlpha search engine is new it is creating quite a bit of interest among technology junkies and search engine users. Even though it has yet to launch officially, the new search engine is being compared to the likes of Google and being hailed as a watershed moment in the advancement of technology, research and internet search.

Nova Spivack, an internet and computer professional, said in a recent UK Independent article: “It is really impressive and significant. In fact it may be as important for the web (and the world) as Google, but for a different purpose.”

According to the Independent article:

“Wolfram Alpha will not only give a straight answer to questions such as ‘how high is Mount Everest?’, but it will also produce a neat page of related information – all properly sourced – such as geographical location and nearby towns, and other mountains, complete with graphs and charts.”

According to its inventor Dr. Stephen Wolfram, the real power and innovation behind the Wolfram Alpha search is its ability to work things out on the fly, like demographic, mathematical or statistical comparisons.

More from the Independent article:

“If you ask it to compare the height of Mount Everest to the length of the Golden Gate Bridge, it will tell you. Or ask what the weather was like in London on the day John F Kennedy was assassinated, it will cross-check and provide the answer. Ask it about D sharp major, it will play the scale. Type in “10 flips for four heads” and it will guess that you need to know the probability of coin-tossing. If you want to know when the next solar eclipse over Chicago is, or the exact current location of the International Space Station, it can work it out.”

The WolframAlpha search engine is based on Dr. Wolfram’s Mathematica software, a standard tool used by scientists for computing complex math problems.

The search engine will be free to use and works by using the knowledge on the internet, as well as private databases. Dr Wolfram says that he expects it will take around 1,000 people to keep its search databases updated with the newest information.

Dr. Wolfram also stated in the Independent article that it is not the search engine’s purpose to store information on everyday people, although he is aware that others might use the technology to do this.

Wolfram Alpha was created with professionals and academics in mind, so its ability to understand popular culture searches is relatively poor.

In addition, Dr. Wolfram does not rule out working with search giants like Google or Wikipedia down the road.

Source: The UK Independent.