Wolfram Alpha search engine: yet another Google rival

Apr 30, 2009

If you're looking to grab headlines, why not compare your new web-app to Google, that always works.  According to Nova Spivak, founder of Twine, a new "computational knowledge engine" known as Wolfram Alpha "could be as important as Google", with its natural language processing used to understand plain-language queries and fathom an expert answer.

Wolfram Alpha is the work of physicist Stephen Wolfram, who developed the system that can use raw data from public and licensed databases, plus live data, to answer complex equations or chart natural events on the fly. 

"Like interacting with an expert, it will understand what you're talking about, do the computation, and then present you with the results" Dr Stephen Wolfram

The system will be available to the public in mid-May 2010, with searches entered using normal language rather than specific search terms.  However Wolfram Alpha has been accused of over-simplifying search syntax: according to Dr Boris Katz of the START project

"I believe he is misguided in treating language as a nuisance instead of trying to understand the way it organises concepts into structures that require understanding and harnessing" Dr Boris Katz

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