May 3, 2009

An invention that could change the internet for ever

Wolfram Alpha will not only give a straight answer to questions such as "how high is Mount Everest?", but it will also produce a neat page of related information – all properly sourced – such as geographical location and nearby towns, and other mountains, complete with graphs and charts.

The real innovation, however, is in its ability to work things out "on the fly", according to its British inventor, Dr Stephen Wolfram. If you ask it to compare the height of Mount Everest to the length of the Golden Gate Bridge, it will tell you. Or ask what the weather was like in London on the day John F Kennedy was assassinated, it will cross-check and provide the answer. Ask it about D sharp major, it will play the scale. Type in "10 flips for four heads" and it will guess that you need to know the probability of coin-tossing. If you want to know when the next solar eclipse over Chicago is, or the exact current location of the International Space Station, it can work it out.

Now, you can't tell me that's not cool.

Read more and try to wait patiently for the arrival of Wolfram Alpha.

1 comment:

Luis Fernandez said...

If Alpha does what it's been advertised as doing, this could be huge. Given some reading I've done on techy sites (comment sections on articles reporting this), I think the general population does not quite understand how significant this could really be. If it does what is being advertised, that is.