Wolfram Alpha

Wolfram Alpha.

There’s been some coverage on Wolfram Alpha over the past month or so. I’m not gonna lie – the only reason I know of Wolfram Alpha is because they hit the news launching a $50 iPhone app way back in 2009 and were ridiculed by the tech crowd.

Fast forward five years and they are back in the news again.

“Now it becomes realistic for someone to build out a complete algorithm and automation system in a few hours.” via Inc.

Venture Beat has a summary that’s more easy to understand – a snippet:

Google wants to understand objects and things and their relationships so it can give answers, not just results. But Wolfram wants to make the world computable, so that our computers can answer questions like “where is the International Space Station right now.” That requires a level of machine intelligence that knows what the ISS is, that it’s in space, that it is orbiting the Earth, what its speed is, and where in its orbit it is right now.

I still don’t fully understand what Wolfram Alpha is, but the notion of conversing with machines pulling up precise results based on scientific data vs now, where we tell machines what to do and look for excites me… and tells me, that Wolfram Alpha is something we should be paying attention to.

Oh, Wolfram also powers Siri.  Stephen Wolfram (found of Wolfram Alpha) and Steve Jobs were friends. Technology that has the stamp of approval from Jobs and a founder with a personal relationship with Jobs is enough for me to create a Google alert. Biased, maybe, but Jobs is a visionary.

Sources: 1, 2, 3 Link #3 – the Venture Beat piece – is highly recommended.

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