The new search engine and technology Wolfram Alpha launches today. Watch out Google.
We made reference to Wolfram Alpha as a “Google Killer” last week, which is something the developers apparently don’t like. It sets people up for the kind of disappointment everyone experienced when the last “Google Killer” Cuil was launched. Well, they’re webcasting the launch of Wolfram Alpha live tonight. If you haven’t heard about it, it’s a new search tool that computes answers rather than simply culling links from a database like Google. Stephen Wolfram’s explanation sums it up nicely, if that’s still not making sense to you: “Fifty years ago, when computers were young, people assumed that they’d quickly be able to handle all these kinds of things … and that one would be able to ask a computer any factual question and have it compute the answer, but it didn’t work out that way … I’d always thought, though, that eventually it should be possible. And a few years ago, I realised that I was finally in a position to try and do it.” Having grown up on Star Trek, this has always been one of my biggest frustrations with technology. I honestly can’t wait to try it.