Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I Have Seen the Future...

I have seen the future and it is WolframAlpha. I am not going to waste your time with unworthy explanations - check out this demo for yourself. This company has the potential to be the next Google or Microsoft (or to be acquired by one of them for insane amounts of money), if it even comes close to achieving the performance shown in that demo.

If I did not have a family to support, I would quit my job and go look for any job, paid or unpaid that I could find with that company. Yeah, I am sort of blown away. This is the same way I felt about Google when I first saw it.

The site should be going live in just a few days...

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Rob Bennett said...

My thought is that, to top Google, it needs to evolve into something that does not just report on facts but that also reports on intelligent conceptual understandings of problems that cannot be reduced to purely factual explanations (but that of course incorporate consideration of facts into their analyses).

Why did Obama win the election?

Lots of smart people have contributed lots of good insights in an effort to answer that question. But if I use Google to learn the answer, I am going to be flooded in nonsense explanations. I need a way to separate the wheat from the chaff. Today, it would take human intervention to do that and that's too expensive a proposition for a search engine to take on.

I believe that the company that figures out how to provide a reasonable substitute for intelligent human analyses of such questions will surpass Google (unless Google is the first to do this).


Anonymous said...

I know people who work at Wolfram, I know more people who used to work there, and I know even more people who would never work there. It's hardly a dream job.

Ren said...

Google should be this already. They started down this road several years ago, but seem to have stalled.

Shadox said...

Anon - could you hook me up with a janitor's position there? It might not be a dream job, but I got a feeling these guys are about to change the world big time. BTW - just went on the Wolfram blog and saw that they are launching tomorrow. Can't wait to test it out!

Ren - I think that this is an insanely difficult problem to solve. I mean Google can do simple computations for you (e.g. try typing 2 + 2), but Wolfram is talking about such advanced analysis. If it works as advertised my work is going to get a lot easier (in some areas).

Rob - apparently Wolfram has a large human component to it (at least according to the online lecture I saw about it yesterday).