Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wolfram Alpha: Get your answers

After being dubbed the next Google killer - in one line, Wolfram Alpha is: It is certainly not a Google killer but will make Google really think about how it can improve presenting data.

The introduction screencast left all of us waiting for the launch on 7pm CST on last Friday. The screencast had raised the expectations and scores of thousands were eagerly awaiting its launch. To top the expectations, Wolfram had announced that it will video cast the release, which was a first of the kind for a service with such big expectations. Though it started with a small glitch, the computational knowledge-base search engine did quite well.

Wolfram Alpha is certainly impressive and has raised the bar with how the objective data can be computed in real time and facts presented in a neat format. I typed in some of the queries and Wolfram Alpha handled them exceptionally well:
  2. (a+b)^2
  3. Coimbatore India
I did have some no-showers/bloopers:
  1. first president of india
  2. common cold
The Verdict: Wolfram Alpha did amazingly well when given a mathematically corelated input or statistically inclined input. It still has to climb some mountains for Natural Language Processing (NLP).

But given the fact that it is still Alpha, Wolfram Alpha has a long way to go and has shown us all a new dimension. It may not be a immediate threat to Google, but will surely be one to Wikipedia.

Kudos to the team at Wolfram Alpha for a new relevation!

Twitter: I did see the real power of Twitter in action during the Wolfram release. On TweetDesk, I could get a consolidated view on what people were thinking about Wolfram Alpha instantly! Makes me more appreciative of Twitter!