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Posted on March 9th, 2009 by Jon Honeyball

Welcome to the future of search

Wolfram | Alpha almost in actionA few months ago, I wrote in very vague terms about something wonderful that I had seen. Something incredible, groundbreaking, which tears up all the rules. But I couldn’t tell you anything more about it.

However, I did promise that I would tell you more just as soon as I could.

Well, today is the day. Ignore the bitching on ars technica. Instead, go to Wolfram’s blog – Wolfram|Alpha is coming - and then head to to sign up.

To quote the blog: “Fifty years ago, when computers were young, people assumed 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. Computers have been able to do many remarkable and unexpected things. But not that.”

We’re still two months away from launch, but when that day happens Wolfram promises us his new search engine will have the answer. So sign up and just wait patiently for a little longer.

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9 Responses to “ Welcome to the future of search ”

  1. Paul Says:
    March 9th, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    We’ve had supposed Google killers before, and we’ve had supposedly intelligent searches too (Ask Jeeves, for example). None have come close to unseating Google from it’s throne.

    I’ll not be holding my breath on this one.

  2. jon honeyball Says:
    March 9th, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    its not really supposed to *replace* search engines like Google. It is something entirely different. A global computation engine.

    I could see Google waving its chequebook about frantically at this point, in case Microsoft is doing the same…


  3. muck Says:
    March 9th, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    I know it’s not the same as a search engine but remember when Cuil came out. How long did it last?
    It’s a very big claim to understand the web and produce answers from questions that have never been asked. It sounds magical and well.. far fetched.
    The constant mention of the Mathematica was almost like advertising. I’d never heard of it but a quick google showed me that Wolfram themselves makes Mathematica so it is all just a big advertising trick. Have a look around at some of the wensites that Wolfram has. It’s all new agey. Have a look at WolframTones, the ‘new kind of music’ made possible by Mathematica and a New Kind of Science. It sounds like a cult. Tom Cruise probably has the brochures

  4. muck Says:
    March 9th, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    Oh and by the way, WolframTones is very much not a new way to make music. It’s a different way to waste 2 minutes saying what is this bloke on!

  5. jon honeyball Says:
    March 9th, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    “The constant mention of the Mathematica was almost like advertising. I’d never heard of it ”



  6. pcernie Says:
    March 9th, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    What’s the point? Everybody knows the answer to the big question is 42 – everything else is just inconsequential!

  7. Alan Says:
    March 10th, 2009 at 10:33 am

    Jon, if you’ve seen this technology in action, can you give any examples of what it did that makes you think it’ll be the next big thing?

  8. Richard Hartley Says:
    March 10th, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    Wolfram needs to protect his reputation. So it must be something extraordinary, that he considers worth risking his reputation on.

    Is anyone just a little bit vague about what to ask exactly?
    Given that we don’t have a clue what sort of results it’s likely to return.

    ‘Oh deep thought.. do you have an anwer?’
    Hmmm. Tricky.


  9. Philip S Says:
    May 17th, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    Try typing in population shetland 6Bn? Crowded!


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