Alright, what is Wolfram|Alpha, and why is the title of this post so enthusiastically indicating it could murder Google, our beloved search overlord?

Wolfram|Alpha, publicly released today, is the brainchild of the Stephen Wolfram and co, the creaters of Mathematica, the world standard program for any kind of mathematical research. They’ve got 20 years of experience in crunching all kinds of numbers and data, and thus created Alpha as a web application to get neatly processed information from the huge data banks that they presumably have.

So what does this mean? Using Wolfram|Alpha, for instance, you can find out:

- What the weather was like on the day and place I was born (August 14 1989, Bonn, Germany): 21C, Partly Cloudy 🙂
- The unemployment rates of India and China: 6.4%, 4% respectively
- How many people died due to Swine Flu: 69 so far. 0 in India. Interestingly, it remembered that I was searching for Indian data, and appended that to world data. 🙂 Lovely, I hope this data isn’t going to the history books like with Google.
- How fast the Indian population is growing: 1.49% per year, according to 2005 data.
- The Answer to Life, The Universe, and Everything: 42
- The Integral of sin(x), -2 to 2: 0

- Where our college website is: Visakhapatnam, India

- How far it is from Hamburg, Germany, to Visakhapatnam, India: 7340 KM

Hey, it can also generate CAPTCHAs:

Though I have to wonder why it has this feature…

Alright, after digging W|A for a few more minutes I began to get a feel for what it was, and more importantly, what it wasn’t:

It is:

- Really good with
**statistical data**, and interpreting it, as long as it exists in some public database somewhere (National census, etc) - Even More Awesome with
**mathematical searches.**Try searching for Integrals or Transforms of equations. Not Only will it*solve*the issue at hand, but it’ll also very neatly*graph*the result and give you the intermediate steps. Its Mathematica roots really show well in these queries. I recommend any maths student check it out. For sure. - Good with
**historical data**, perhaps introducing some new ways of looking at it.

It is:

**NOT A “Search Engine”**. They say so on their website:

It’s a computational knowledge engine: it generates output by doing computations from its own internal knowledge base, instead of searching the web and returning links.

- NOT A live, updated-to-the-minute ‘computational knowledge engine’, meaning that it doesn’t have all the latest ‘data’ as other search engines. This is a good thing, perhaps, as it relies on verfied data banks for factual data.
**NOT A Google Killer**. Google is designed to help people find webpages, that may contain the relevant data for their queries. Wolfram|Alpha is designed to**interpret existing data into knowledge**for you.

All in all, its a fine software from the Wolfram stable. It still has some way to go before it becomes as truly useful to us in our daily lives. As more data is fed into the system, it shall prove to be more useful. Till then, mathematicians and researchers will love this to bits.

To wrap things up, this post has roughly 525 words. According to Alpha, it should have taken you 2 minutes to silently read this, 4 minutes to read it out loud, or 9 minutes to type it. (Hmm… damn, took me waaaay more than 9 minutes to type 🙂 )

Comments? Do check out Wolfram | Alpha and see if you can turn up any really interesting queries, and share ’em here. 🙂 [BTW, comments are on the top. Click here, if you are too lazy to scroll.]

## 6 replies on “Wolfram|Alpha – the Google Killer?”

——-The first thing people must have a good idea about what they are trying to find———-

——-The second thing we must ask it clearly,,,,,,,,, no vague,,,,,,,no somethinglikethat,,,,,,,—————–

GOOD THING

————————–GIVES U A PERFECT ANSWER_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_ SIDDHU——-

Yup, exactly man. But I have to give it a bunch of points for its maths searches. … Seriously, where was this when we were studying M1?

great work dude……….

looking forward for more frequent posts from u and enligten us abt such things…….

Cheers man, your support is all I need to go on.

Thanks. 🙂

Its really superb to know about such thing……….Thanks for that one

Thanks man.

Let me know if you find anything interesting too.