Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wolframalpha search ... threat to Google?

Firstly I would like to share the Fan Community of Wolframalpha !! The problem with the web today is, it has no idea what the hell you’re talking about! It doesn’t understand what you are asking of it. Search for an artist you like and you’re OK but ask it “what was the highest temperature in Kolkata week”, and it fails embarrassingly.
A new technology Wolfram|Alpha, a system which is capable of computing answers to questions is likely to be launched this year.So the web is expected to be smarter by the end of this year. However it isn’t limited to any field or type of question. It actually understands what you are asking of it, and computes the answer! It is like as calculator which can give you answers to questions like “What was the length of the longest whale discovered in the pacific ocean between the years 1900 and 1990”. It doesn’t come with preprogrammed questions; considering the scope of the questions it aims to answer, that would be almost impossible. Instead, the developers have actually generated models of the kind of factual questions that it may be asked, and broken them down into units that can be computed.
The potential of this system is limitless, but it itself is not. It doesn’t not plan to give answers that may have multiple opinions, just for facts so don’t expect it to answer question on anything like “Should I marry my boyfriend who has been with me for the last three years, but we broke up for like 3 months in the middle, and he didn’t even call once! Well actually he did, but I wasn’t there, but he didn’t call again! So should I? ”. This means the system has less chance of being biased, i.e. having answered based on the opinions of the people who are entering the data. This also means that it can only supplement Google, not replace it. It may never be able to rule the world, but I’m pretty sure it will rule the web!


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