I’m not sure if I’m on the same planet as Stephen Wolfram, founder of Wolfram Research – the people behind Mathematica – but I’d like to be.

In his recent blog post Stephen Wolfram tries to answer some of these questions:

What is Wolfram|Alpha, then?

It’s going to be a website: www.wolframalpha.com. With one simple input field that gives access to a huge system, with trillions of pieces of curated data and millions of lines of algorithms.

What does that mean?

…one would be able to ask a computer any factual question, and have it compute the answer…

I’d always thought, though, that eventually it should be possible. And a few years ago, I realized that I was finally in a position to try to do it.

But that’s never going to work is it?

I wasn’t at all sure it was going to work. But I’m happy to say that with a mixture of many clever algorithms and heuristics, lots of linguistic discovery and linguistic curation, and what probably amount to some serious theoretical breakthroughs, we’re actually managing to make it work.

Wow! Google, your days are numbered!

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