WolframAlpha A new type of search engine

Hi World.
I didn’t lost a bit of  grip on edge news, altrought now I am married!

In the first days of May we read about a new serach engine, called WolframAlpha.

The idea behind WolframAlpha are interesting, so we will take a close look to it.

Slashdot is following the engine very tightly (“Wolfram Alpha Launches Tonight, On Camera”, published  on May 16) ans so will do Gioorgi.com.

[UPDATED! Google Squared is out of there!!]

First published on May 18th, 2009

What the News say about WolframAlpha

We can start reading what the Economist says on it:

IT IS the curse of every internet search engine to be compared to Google, master of the universe and supreme ruler over two-thirds of such searches. Since newcomers never measure up to the breadth and depth of the billions of pages that Google has indexed over the past decade, most of these comparisons end with an easy win for the incumbent. Pretenders to the throne, nevertheless, keep appearing.

The latest, to be launched on May 18th, is Wolfram Alpha.[…]

To be fair, many of the overblown expectations surrounding Alpha do not stem from Dr Wolfram himself. Indeed, he describes his invention not as a search engine but as a “computational knowledge engine”. The quirky label is not only an attempt to sidestep a confrontation with Google, but also hints at Alpha’s different approach to answering questions.

via A new type of search engine | The search is on | The Economist.

The Background

We’d do a step back and look a bit more deeply to Dr Wolfram, before digging inside this new search engine.

Dr Wolfram is very active on IT field: at the end of 2007 he tried to build a super compact Turing machine; you can read more on its wolframscience site, and also follow these slashdot news:

Someone said that “Wolfram is the Chuck Norris of Math”, and it seems true :)

Mathematica: a very nice tool, but not priceless for sure.

Dr Wolfram is the inventor of Mathematica, one of the most priced mathematical engine. I tried Mathematica sometimes, but its power is too much for my brain.

Mathematica can do everything: from statistical analysis (like matlab) to symbolic derivates and integrals. And can also approximate them.
But Mathematical is complex and over-priced, so I think dear dr Wolfram is trying to get some more attention via a well known webbish-it appraoach.

The idea is simple: if you want to expand your market revenue, try to make it cooler, for instance via a search-engine approach.


Some guys already tested Wolfram Alpha, as we can read on Slashdot (Wolfram Alpha vs. Google — Results Vary).

We have done some tests, and WolframAlpha seems interesting, but for the meantime is very hard to see it effective. Without the deep knowledge base of Google, is not easy to play on this playground, as The Economist underlines above.

Anyway Dr Wolfram, nice to see a good product, and with a so low price!…

The Google Reply [!UPDATED!]

At the start of June, Google popped out a lab project called Google Squared.

We tried it with our site, but the results are not so good. The idea behind is to fight against the “semantic” nature of Wolfram Alpha using a simpler mathematical “array-based” view.
This idea are for the meantime too young…

Additional Resources