Steven Wolfram of Mathematica fame (and pure genius) has launched Wolfram Alpha, its a ‘computational knowledge engine’ and quite a cool tool too! Taking on the big giants Google and Yahoo, Live etc, this bit of kit allows you to search using natural language processing (NLP).
Let me demonstrate, suppose you want to know who the prime minister of Bulgaria is, it will not only give you the answer but also some background information on the person.
Not only can you ask formal questions, but you can even give it some mathematical problems to solve.
Try some of the examples on the right hand menu.
Some cool things to try,
- What is the meaning of life?
- Convert 88mph to kmh (see the note ‘comparison at speed’)
- When is mothers day (notice it picks up the different countries)
- The name Homer gives stats on people named homer. Note the huge amount of homers back in the 1800s! and what about stats for Bender?
Ok I could waste a day on this, so instead I’ll let you do it for me.