A Wolfram Alpha Review; Groundbreaking But Not Quite a Google Killer

A New Way to Use the Internet
A New Way to Use the Internet

There is a new search engine that is about to take the internet by storm. Wolfram|Alpha has been created as an extremely intelligent search engine that can instantly compute solutions and allow any user to access them. Unlike other search engines, where questions are answered via hoards of websites, this all new format strives to answer your question in the easiest way possible.

The release of Wolfram Alpha is easily one of the most anticipated in years and the idea itself led many to believe that this site might just be a Google killer. The truth is, after you try this search engine just once you will realize that it is nothing like Google, and brings a completely new concept to the table.

What is Wolfram Alpha?

The creator of the program, Dr. Stephen Wolfram describes it as a “computational search engine” and the future goal is to allow the search engine to make every knowledgeable bit of information in the world computable and easily accessible. Obviously it will be a long time before this will be possible and that is why Wolfram Alpha is not an overnight solution. It is very much so a long term project, but has taken an incredible step towards changing the way we use computers and the internet.

Essentially the search engine has over 10 trillion bits and pieces of data, 50,000 different computing models and algorithms and a cluster of 10,000 X 86 processors that all work together to try to make the knowledge it provides informative and accessible.

How Does it Function?

Here is how it works. The system first grabs all the data it can and stores it in an incredibly large database, then employs a rather complex system called Mathematica, which tries to process the data and make it as useful as it can. Dr. Wolfram has been working on that system alone for over 20 years and this is the part that essentially makes the whole project so exciting. The last part of the process is the interpreter which can take human entered enquiries and try to make it so that the processors can understand it.

It is the interpretation process where some of the problems with Wolfram start to surface. There are a lot of inquiries and ideas that you want to type in that simply will not work. For instance, when you first start using the site, you will see this message quite often, “Wolfram Alpha isn’t sure what to do with your input”. The more you work with the program, the easier you will find it to input certain words and sentences that are sure to come out with more appropriate answers.

What you will Love About Wolfram Alpha

One of the features that you will learn to love about Wolfram Alpha is the one that supplies you with all sorts of different information to your query. For instance, by searching “how many people live in India”, you will receive not only the exact population but also facts about density, life expectancy, growth and median age. That is a lot more than you can get from the other popular search engines.

This is why, in our opinion, Wolfram Alpha looks to be a bigger competitor for websites such as Wikipedia rather than actually being a “Google Killer”. The exciting part is to just imagine what the internet could become if a company such as Google where to link up with Wolfram Alpha. The opportunities and solutions supplied could be infinite.
Wolfram Alpha also has the capability to present you all sorts of sources for the information it provides which allows you to truly trust the answers you are receiving. The search engine can also give you diagrams, charts and graphs in just a matter of seconds, as long as you input the appropriate question or term. This is where Wolfram Alpha really brings some competition to the table.

It can compute figures and give you an endless list of data in seconds, which makes it incredibly easy to find out information such as currency exchange rates or even the weather. If you are searching for the current weather conditions in a certain area, you will receive up to the minute, live information along with graphs and projected outlooks for future conditions.

USA Oriented, for now

Another subtle drawback for many internet users is that the program is revolved very tightly around the USA. When it comes to cities and even sports teams, Wolfram Alpha knows all there is to know about the New York Yankees or San Francisco but has a hard time computing more international destinations and terms.

Wolfram Alpha; the Final Judgment

Overall, the Wolfram Alpha search engine is groundbreaking and has caused a lot of excitement for good reason. The amount of data it can commute in seconds is remarkable, and it is incredibly convenient to use when looking for fast answers to quick questions. Unlike many people will tell you, this search engine is not in direct competition with Google. Here is the main difference. Google aims to lead you to a place where you may be able to find your solutions. It will point you in the direction of the best websites and the most reliable sources of information. On the other hand, Wolfram Alpha aims to directly give you the answers, without you ever having to leave the page.

As of this moment, if you head over to the search engine now, which can be found by clicking here, you may be a bit more frustrated than you are excited. It can be hard to learn how to correctly search for information, but you can already see just how much potential this program has. Once you learn how to use it properly, you can harness a never ending supply of information and access it in a much more efficient way than any other internet engine can provide.