WolframAlpha: Making the world’s knowledge computable
Today’s Wolfram|Alpha is the first step in an ambitious, long-term project to make all systematic knowledge immediately computable by anyone. Enter your question or calculation, and Wolfram|Alpha uses its built-in algorithms and a growing collection of data to compute the answer. Based on a new kind of knowledge-based computing…..
test from the Wolfram/Alpha
Wolfram|Alpha’s long-term goal is to make all systematic knowledge immediately computable and accessible to everyone. We aim to collect and curate all objective data; implement every known model, method, and algorithm; and make it possible to compute whatever can be computed about anything. Our goal is to build on the achievements of science and other systematizations of knowledge to provide a single source that can be relied on by everyone for definitive answers to factual queries.
Wolfram|Alpha aims to bring expert-level knowledge and capabilities to the broadest possible range of people—spanning all professions and education levels. Our goal is to accept completely free-form input, and to serve as a knowledge engine that generates powerful results and presents them with maximum clarity.
Wolfram|Alpha is an ambitious, long-term intellectual endeavor that we intend will deliver increasing capabilities over the years and decades to come. With a world-class team and participation from top outside experts in countless fields, our goal is to create something that will stand as a major milestone of 21st century intellectual achievement.
That it should be possible to build Wolfram|Alpha as it exists today in the first decade of the 21st century was far from obvious. And yet there is much more to come.
As of now, Wolfram|Alpha contains 10+ trillion pieces of data, 50,000+ types of algorithms and models, and linguistic capabilities for 1000+ domains. Built with Mathematica—which is itself the result of more than 20 years of development at Wolfram Research—Wolfram|Alpha’s core code base now exceeds 5 million lines of symbolic Mathematica code. Running on supercomputer-class compute clusters, Wolfram|Alpha makes extensive use of the latest generation of web and parallel computing technologies, including webMathematica and gridMathematica.
Wolfram|Alpha’s knowledge base and capabilities already span a great many domains, and its underlying framework has the power and flexibility to support ready extension to essentially any domain that is based on systematic knowledge.
Wolfram|Alpha, as it exists today, is just the beginning. We have both short- and long-term plans to dramatically expand all aspects of Wolfram|Alpha, broadening and deepening our data, our computation, our linguistics, our presentation, and more.
Wolfram|Alpha is built on solid foundations. And as we go forward, we see more and more that can be made computable using the basic paradigms of Wolfram|Alpha—and a faster and faster path for development as we leverage the broad capabilities already in place.
Wolfram|Alpha was made possible in part by the achievements of Mathematica and A New Kind of Science (NKS). In their different ways, both of these point to far-reaching future opportunities for Wolfram|Alpha—whether a radically new kind of programming or the systematic automation of invention and discovery.
Wolfram|Alpha is being introduced first in the form of the wolframalpha.com website. But Wolfram|Alpha is really a technology and a platform that can be used and presented in many different ways. Among short-term plans are developer APIs, professional and corporate versions, custom versions for internal data, connections with other forms of content, and deployment on emerging mobile and other platforms.
History & Background
The quest to make knowledge computable has a long and distinguished history. Indeed, when computers were first imagined, it was almost taken for granted that they would eventually have the kinds of question-answering capabilities that we now begin to see in Wolfram|Alpha. See timeline »
What has now made Wolfram|Alpha possible today is a somewhat unique set of circumstances—and the singular vision of Stephen Wolfram.
For the first time in history, we have computers that are powerful enough to support the capabilities of Wolfram|Alpha, and we have the web as a broad-based means of delivery. But this technology alone was not enough to make Wolfram|Alpha possible.
What was needed were also two developments that have been driven by Stephen Wolfram over the course of nearly 30 years
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- July 9, 2010 / 09:11