Sunday, April 26, 2009

Wolfram Alpha: 6 Things You Need to Know

1 - Frederic Lardinois: "It definitely looks like it can live up to the hype - though, because it is so different from traditional search engines, it will definitely not be a "Google killer"

2 - Wolfram will be giving a sneak preview of Wolfram Alpha knowledge engine at Harvard Law School on Tuesday, April 28:

Event is being co-hosted by Jonathan Zittrain

3 - In Wolfram's own words: "Wolfram|Alpha isn't really a search engine, because we compute the answers, and we discover new truths. If anything, you might call it a platonic search engine, unearthing eternal truths that may never have been written down before..."

4 - "Wolfram|Alpha can pop out an answer to pretty much any kind of factual question that you might pose to a scientist, economist, banker, or other kind of expert. The exciting part is that you're not just looking up pages on the web, you're getting new information that's generated by computations working from the known data. Wolfram says the response can be so speedy because, "We've found that, of all the things science can compute, most take a second or less."

5 - Stephen Wolfram created the math software Mathematica ; he was educated at Eton, Oxford, and Caltech; he published a physics paper at 16; he wrote a book of philosophy in which he posits the world is based on cellular automata, A New Kind of Science. It is available online:

6 - You can get updates by checking out the Wolfram Alpha website and/or Wolfram Alpha Blog

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