Wolfram|Alpha

Wolfram|Alpha is a computational knowledge engine. They call it an answer-engine, I call it a “find-engine”. Wolfram|AlphaIt’s an online service that answers factual queries directly by serving the answer from structured data, instead of providing a list of links or documents, like search-engines à la Google. And it is going to be released tonight!

If you want to know why I am already a fan of this find-engine, here is a short demo on what Wolfram|Alpha looks like!

Just to give you a small insight, Wolfram|Alpha runs on different clusters. One of them consists of 3800 CPUs, which is already a fair datacenter by itself, right? Amazing!

Still find it difficult to understand? Here are several examples of what you can do with Wolfram|Alpha:

  • 50 km/u
  • 80,000 €/year
  • What is de GDP of France / Italy
  • internet users in Europe
  • weather Springfield 11/6/89
  • MSFT Apple
  • mortgage 4% 20 years
  • red + yellow

Like I said, almost instantly the results are presented, often with graphics included. What kind of topics does Wolfram|Alpha use to generate his answers? Mathematics, Statistics, Physics, Chemistry, Materials, Engineering, Astronomy, Life Sciences, People & History, Culture & Media, etc.

Why am I such a fan? Speed of answering my questions! Also the immediate use of the data, of course immediately exportable to PDF.

I think this is one of the new kind of applications we’ve been waiting for. I am excited to elaborately testdrive this website 🙂

What about you? Can you come up with a difficult question for Wolfram|Alpha? I dare you 🙂

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