Watch this video to get an overview of Wolfram Alpha. What alpha does is make the web computable. How? by combining natural language queries, large public datasets and the Mathematica compute engine. Alpha brings all these pieces together to generate new information from data as opposed to slavishly returning the mob results that Google collects. This is information generation from first principles.
This is going to do to Google what Google did to Microsoft? Why?
- Wolfram is a private held company which will never be for sale. Stephen Wolfram is privately wealthy and isn’t interested in selling at any price, he wants to change the world. This eliminates Googles fist tack which is the early purchase of potential competitors.
- Mathematica is a heavily defended piece of Wolfram technology which is at the heart of the smarts running Alpha. Mathematica was first released in 1988 so they have been building and improving it for over 20 years. So don’t expect some open source project to reproduce its capabilities. As for MS and Google, well they have some catching up to do.
- The interface implicitly supports rendered output as opposed to textual results and combination of results
- The natural language interface will open it up to everyone
- The mathematica link means this will make real the software plus service mantra of Microsoft. BTW Microsoft is nowhere in this market.
- Add a REST API and suddenly you have taken much of what we do in cloud computing off the me nu
- Its a lot easier to clone Google search into alpha than it is to clone Wolfram Alpha into Google
- Its not just search, notice the bit where you can fill in form data to refine a calculation. Expect to see more of this including the ability to build complex computations with streaming real time results
- Crowd sourcing results will rapidly allow them to eliminate the less useful results
- Whats the business model?
- Will it link with mathematica?
- Will they provide an API?
- How will Google and Microsoft react?
- Does Amazon have a part to play?