Wolfram|Alpha is a computational knowledge engine. They call it an answer-engine, I call it a “find-engine”. It’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!
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 🙂