Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Stephen Wolfram's Goal: Help You Find Everything About Anything

Stephen Wolfram (right) is developing "Wolfram/Alpha" (left), a program that might be the next generation of search engines beyond Google - computable knowledge.

Wolfram|Alpha's long-term goal is to make all systematic knowledge immediately computable and accessible to everyone. His aim is 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.

If he hadn't already accomplished such amazing things one might think this is folly. Wolfram developed Mathematica, one of the most powerful computer programs to help mathematicians visualize complex mathematical computations and he also wrote "A New Kind of Science" about simple rules of complex automata.

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. The 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.

Click on the heading above to follow Wolfram/Alpha's progress.

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