Kenny's Cafe Corner

Friday, May 15, 2009

Screencast of Wolfram Alpha Demo

What is Wolfram Alpha? Some people have been calling it the Google killer. I have no opinion about that but the way it computes the data you queried is incredible!

Click on the link above to see a demo of how it amazingly interprets the context of your questions and spits out computed answers!

Google is impressive because of its speed and accuracy at which it returns the results. Wolfram Alpha is impressive because of its advanced ability to interpret a question, do computation on the data returned and present it quite well.

I especially like how almost all its result screens display some form of graphical representation be it graphs, maps or diagrams. I have yet seen any photographs though. It would be nice to see photographic results in the form of an encyclopaedic entry. Yes, I know we already have Wikipaedia or Brittanica for that but can't it be integrated with Wolfram Alpha?

This technology seems to me the logical progression of so-called 'Search' technology. While Google is so good at speedy retrieval of data and simple data processing, Wolfram Alpha seems to be at making sense of all that data and presenting it well.

I sure hope the creators of Wolfram Alpha implement some form of advanced saving or download feature. I'm sure researchers using this powerful tool will want to be able to save what they see in various formats ie. HTML, XML, plain ASCII/unicode text, PDF, Open Document formats etc.

I think Isaac Asimov's MultiVAC is already here! In his short story The Last Question Asimov tells of the ultimate computer/oracle. Humankind can ask it any question and answers will be returned. Not only that, this ultimate computer can evolve! Go read it here, I highly recommended it!

So here's my prediction, the Internet and all its related enhancements in the future will serve as the ultimate store of humankind's knowledge. An AI will emerge with the soul of the new machine that will be able to think so well for humans that it will play a crucial role in how human biology and culture advances.

The danger here is that humans will stop to think and let computers do all the thinking for them. However, I take the more optimistic approach and think that humans will be consolidated with these creations. The future humans will be cyborg. Like it or not, we seem to be headed towards an integration of brains, muscles (wet-ware) and artificial enhancements (software and hardware, not necessarily inorganic).

Already, our children are better informed and smarter than the children of the past... Trends like these will continue into our glorious future.
:: posted by Kenny, 11:10 AM


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