Wolfram|Alpha – “I ate the world and shat out smart”

May 17, 2009

Holy. Fucking. Shit. Wolfram|Alpha just went live a few days ago, and the whole world collectively shat bricks.

For those that don’t know, Wolfram|Alpha is a totally new concept in information seeking. Pose a query to it, and it doesn’t search the internet… it actually computes the answer, a la Deep Thought of Hitchhiker lore. But unlike Deep Thought, Alpha actually knows when to stop and say “hey, that’s a stupid question”. And it doesn’t take upwards of 7 million years to figure out the answer either.

You can pretty much ask this thing anything at all, and it’ll give you the answer. It’s just like it consumed the entire of human knowledge, turned it into a factual calculation, and spat it back out in an easy to digest form. It’s the polar opposite of Google, which has degenerated into looking for a document in a pool of warm gooey spam laced with hypodermic needles. Alpha is just the thing that people have been needing, to simplify the database of human knowledge, and provide easier access to the huge array of information that’s available today. The best part about it? It’s not Wikipedia. It’s not user editable.

I think my research papers just got a hell of a lot easier to write. Did I mention it can do your math homework and show its work?


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