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Scientist Stephen Wolfram has built a new engine, called Wolfram Alpha, that apparently can compute answers to factual questions more powerfully than Google.

Wolfram has just posted about the effort, which has taken years of working in stealth and involves more than a hundred workers. He explains the basics of how his “computational knowledge engine” works: You ask it factual questions (such as “How many protons are in a hydrogen atom?”), and it computes answers for you.

Many details about the engine, scheduled to launch in May, have yet to be released. However, Wolfram has shown it to search engine expert Nova Spivack. In a long post, Spivack calls the effort “almost absurdly ambitious” but concludes that it works, and claims that the engine has the potential to touch our lives as deeply as Google.

The engine doesn’t return documents that might contain the answer, like Google does, and it isn’t a giant database, like Wikipedia. Nor does it resort to natural language to return documents, like Powerset does. Rather, Wolfram (pictured left) has created a proprietary system based on fields of knowledge, containing terabytes of curated data and millions of lines of algorithms to represent real-world knowledge as we know it.

You ask it questions in a bar that looks very much like Google’s search bar, but it uses natural language to understand your question or even abbreviated notation. It then provides detailed answers.
Nick: JirkaPraha, 1.4.2009 15:22:50
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foto
Scientist Stephen Wolfram has built a new engine, called Wolfram Alpha, that apparently can compute answers to factual questions more powerfully than Google. Wolfram has just posted about the...
Software
1.4.2009 15:22:50 | Nick: JirkaPraha
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Google launches an updated version of Google Earth that includes oceanic 3D underwater terrain as well as historical imagery. With this new addition to the software, you can spot shipwrecks as you...
Software
5.2.2009 10:32:04 | Nick: JirkaPraha
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Web-based programs like Google's Gmail will force people to buy into locked, proprietary systems that will cost more and more over time, according to the free software campaigner. The concept of...
Software
1.10.2008 08:59:32 | Nick: JirkaPraha
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While plenty of gamers have heaped praise on Blizzard's seminal massively-multiplayer online game 'World of Warcraft' (WoW), many more have had nothing good to say about the thing, such as those who...

http://www.switched.com
Software
19.9.2008 14:51:57 | Nick: JirkaPraha



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