Friday, 15 May 2009

Does WolframAlpha knows more or just crunches numbers better ?

The first search engine calculator.
Could WolframAlpha be important as Google ? Overhyped ? Tuning to electronic brain ?

Champaign, Illinois, USA - Computational knowledge engine sounds bold and geeky. Are we talking about Web Service or desktop PC program ?
Are you willing to change your habit ?

But is it magic or too much mathematics ? We'll see. Wolfram Alpa sells the image of something important in the web age 2009 and anticipation of it is dosed in a clever manner ( blog, webcast, newsletter, email invitation, FB group, twitter, Youtube channel, screeencast ).

Google is boring, though. Many people are waiting for '' wow effect '' in web search.
Google is God.

First thing, domain name. is too long. Alpha totally unnecessary.

Wolfram comes from founder's name. Capitalism tells us this is wise move since people tend to care much more about the products and company when they use their names directly.

Wolfram Alpha itself is limited liability company not corporation. Wolfram Research Inc. is a company that develops Mathematics software , a computation solution for many industries.

Wolfram search engine has academics background.
Stephen Wolfram is founder - british physicist and mathematician. He thinks knowledge should be extracted from the Web in an easy-to-use interface.
He claims The Wolfram|Alpha engine differs from traditional search engines in that it does not simply return a list of results based on a query, but instead computes an answer.

Doug Lenat was impressed.

According to public information, there are no investors in the company as of today.

New York Times described search engine .
While search engines like Google, by and large, find things that already exist on the Internet—Web sites, photos, videos, blogs—Wolfram|Alpha answers questions, often by doing complex, and new computations.”

But how to get started searching ? What's ahead after homepage ? There are screenshots about this. Looks like you need to go deeper and refine your search. Maybe this data and answers are powerful indeed, but is this information layer usable and easy to navigate ?

More questions pop up. Is this search engine for consumer market or power users ? For serious researchers only ?

There are 150 people in the launch team and huge cluster of computers ready to go live and load all those queries. Everything sounds very ambitious.

Math to rule or to kill ? That is a question now. May 18th is the only way to know this. Countdown begins for launch of this ''rich search engine'' :))

Who knows the answer ? Machine or human ?
It certainly isn't replacement for Google. Better at numbers, but worse at words.
Here's a screencast.

Bonus link:
John Dvorak's second opinion
What's Google worried about ? No click-throughs as before...

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