Could Groundbreaking New Search Engine, Wolfram Alpha be a Google Killer?

May 4, 2009

(ChattahBox)—A groundbreaking new search engine, named Wolfram Alpha, developed by British scientist Stephen Wolfram, famed creator of Mathematica, is about to be unleashed on the world and is projected to revolutionize how we search for answers on the Internet. Wolfram calls his new search engine, a “Computational Knowledge Engine,” which will actually process and answer questions in ordinary language the same way a person does.

This innovative search engine is more like having a source of artificial intelligence at your side, providing deductive reasoning to queries to help solve problems. Although, still in its infancy, the present and future impact of Wolfram Alpha will be huge.

To fully understand the difference between standard search engines like, Google and Wolfram Alpha; consider the difference between a game of “Where is Waldo,” and the deductive powers of the fictional literary character, Sherlock Holmes. Google is more like “Where is Waldo,” as it scours the web for every single reference to a search term, whether relevant or not, producing many false positives and spammy ads in the process.

A Google user is presented with lists of supposedly relevant matches. It’s up to the user to make sense of it, which often requires scrolling through pages of irrelevant results.

But now that is all about to change with the invention of Wolfram Alpha; the Sherlock Holmes of search engines. Ask a question of Wolfram Alpha and you will receive an actual answer to your query, complete with an organized page of neat graphs and sources, as well as related relevant content for you to use to expand your search.

How does Wolfram Alpha work? The groundbreaking software, designed by Stephen Wolfram, “understands” a user’s question and makes use of sources from the Internet as well as private databases of knowledge developed by Dr. Wolfram to provide answers. This brainy physicist and inventor, based Wolfram Alpha on a previous, award winning invention of his named, Mathematica that performs similar deductive searches to assist scientists and engineers with solving complex math problems.

Besides, Wolfram Alpha’s brilliant software design, the key to what makes the search engine unique is its special databases of vetted and “curated” information assessed by experts, before it’s included in the databases. In fact, the answers that you receive are first verified by experts before they are made available. Dr. Wolfram plans to hire a team of 1,000 experts to ensure the databases remain current.

Wolfram Alpha’s capabilities were presented at Harvard last week, leaving incredulous scientists to dub it the “Holy Grail” of the Internet. A sample query of a user seeking to compare the height of the Empire State to the length of the Golden Gate Bridge, results in the measurements of each building with a relative comparison, in addition to related information.

Who is the human brain behind this groundbreaking new example of artificial intelligence of the future? It’s former child prodigy Stephen Wolfram, born in London in 1959, who published an article on particle physics when just 16-years old, entered Oxford University at the age of 17-years old, earned his PhD in theoretical physics from Caltech by the age of 20, and that’s just the beginning of this man’s amazing career and accomplishments in physics, mathematics, and computer science.

Dr. Wolfram pioneered research in the field of complexity theory and artificial life, developing the highly regarded authority in the field, the journal of “Complex Systems.” After leaving academics he created his own company, named Wolfram Research and published a best-selling book in 2002, entitled, “A New Kind of Science.” His scientific accomplishments are so numerous, his website requires a nine-page timeline detailing them all.

Wolfram Alpha still has a few bugs and quirks that Dr. Wolfram is working to remedy. For example, its databases are not yet equipped to deal with subjects of popular culture, but that will change in time.

Meanwhile, Wolfram Alpha will be available to the public without charge, sometime later this month and it’s expected to revolutionize how we all conduct searches on the Internet.

For now, Google’s usefulness as a comprehensive search tool bringing up every matching source from the far reaches of the Internet, will not soon be surpassed by Wolfram Alpha’s deductive calculations based primarily on private databases, but just give it time.

There may soon come a time when the phrase, “Google it,” will be replaced by “Wolfram it” or even “Alpha it.”

Source


Comments

5 Responses to “Could Groundbreaking New Search Engine, Wolfram Alpha be a Google Killer?”

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  2. samju on May 5th, 2009 3:21 am

    hey It’s really very good news. we all are very exited do work on this search engine.

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  4. Ivo Cerckel on May 5th, 2009 10:38 am

    QUOTE
    This innovative search engine is more like having a source of artificial intelligence at your side, providing deductive reasoning to queries to help solve problems.
    +
    The groundbreaking software, “understands” a user’s question
    UNQUOTE

    Most people stop their deductive reasoning when they arrive at what they think are common-sense evidences.
    It will be interesting to see how the software will deal with these.

    In Book III, Chapter (Part?) 8 of De Anima (On the Soul),
    Aristotle,
    who also wrote a book De Partibus Animalium (On the Parts of Animals),
    wrote that
    the soul is analogous to the hand;
    for as the hand is a tool of tools ,
    so the mind is the form of [432a] forms
    and sense the form of sensible things,
    http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/soul.3.iii.html

    I can tell you from the school of hard knocks,
    and I mean this literally,
    that a hand cannot be replaced by any prosthesis or hook.

    Can the human mind?

    We’ll see …

    Ivo

  5. greg on May 12th, 2009 2:40 pm

    Personally I’m excited at the world of information that this will open up to researchers everywhere. I think at first we will find that it’s not what most people are hoping and looking for but mining for pure data in a current search engine is tantamount to sifting through junk mail.

    That said, I don’t think it will be a Google Killer: http://www.sagerock.com/blog/wolframalpha-not-google-killer/

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