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Monthly Archives: May 2009

Ok, Wolfram|Alpha – the computational knowledge engine – is up and running. Granted, I’ve seen three different versions of “site is currently under heavy load”. Do remember that there’s a large amount of on the fly computation and algorithm crunching behind each result. 

These are the queries I tested it with:

Where are you? gives a good result.

Where am I? gives the correct answer.

Who am I? gives the same answer.

sin(n/10) * 100 draws a nice chart.

What are you doing? is the first computed tweet. 🙂

What time is it? surprisingly gives nothing.

green, redminimum result.

BMW presents stock information.

Weather in Lahti Wow!

Weather in Lahti June 2003 Double-Wow!

Neuron is not that interesting for Wolfram to have knowledge about.

Are you OK? opens a “Human Discourse” functionality which is under development. What will it be?

All in all, Wolfram|Alpha provides an interesting approach and implementation. It’s certainly one to follow and use.

However, I do get “everything is a number or a taxonomy” feel from the data it contains. It mostly answers with numbers; even Madonna boils down to a straight line between two dates.

So, Wolfram|Alpha is the engine Douglas Adams wrote about

Google left, Wolfram|Alpha right.

Google left, Wolfram|Alpha right.

I do not know why, but the system creates an impression of an autistic Rain Man recalling phone book numbers and curated minutia with precision. Whereas Google is the outgoing guy with all the fun; its bots gathering data from the web carelessly, and giving noisy, vague answers at times.