Wolfram Alpha goes live
Kate Billinghurst wrote: Semantic search engine Wolfram Alpha has been launched to the public for the first time.
A search engine that aims to offer expert statistics for factual queries has gone live for the first time.
Wolfram Alpha, which was created by UK scientist Stephen Wolfram, makes use of natural language processing – semantic web technology – to deliver answers to users directly without presenting them with a list of possible sites to choose from as Google and other traditional search engines currently do.
Soft-launched last Friday (May 15th) and officially launched today, Wolfram Alpha describes itself as a “computational knowledge engine” and can also answer mathematical equations, compare stock prices and deliver facts on specific towns and dates, among other things.
The team behind the search engine is currently collecting feedback from users on ways in which the service could be improved.
Responses to the launch of Wolfram Alpha have been mixed, with Tim Danton of PC Pro criticising it for its US focus and Chris Sherman of Search Engine Land stating: “It functions in a way that’s very different than any other search engine I’ve ever used.
“Even beyond impressive, the words that best describe the experience of using Wolfram Alpha are ‘fun’ and ‘enchanting’.”
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