Wolfram|Alpha is not a search engine — it’s a computational knowledge engine: it generates output by doing computations from its own internal knowledge base, instead of searching the web and returning links.

It is quite a fascinating tool:

Hat tip B2

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

No matter how sophisticated technology becomes, it always comes down to: distortion in, distortion out. You can’t improve on the human mind. People just need to learn how to use it. Reality in, ???? out.

I asked a stupid question, but got some pretty good answers –

http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=how+much+wood+would+a+woodchuck+chuck

Wolfram Alpha is amazing! It gives you nutritional labels if you enter food, and adjusts based on the quantity. Plus, you can stack ingredients to generate a nutritional label for your whole meal- eg, “1 cup oatmeal + 2 tbsp brown sugar + 0.25 cups raisins + 2 cups coffee” will tell you exactly what you ate for breakfast.

@swag:

A Chuckload.

Wolfram is a genius, literally.

Neat demo – asking it real questions though -

“What is the Muslim population of France?”

Wolfram|Alpha isn’t sure how to compute an answer from your input

“How many automobiles were sold in the US in 2008?’

Wolfram|Alpha isn’t sure how to compute an answer from your input

“Average summer temperature in Phoenix”

No data available.

Wow that’s super cool! :P

Thanks for this, Barry !

Interesting. Will be more interesting still to see how long it takes Google to buy them.

~~~

BR: That was my immediate thought . . .Invictus – hah! Good point!

It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. In a panic, they try to pull the plug…

Very Cool!

Wonder though if their info can be verified as to how current it is and the source?

This would be a great help to small businesses everywhere. But, it would cut hiring of part time/full time researchers…so that would be some more job loss due to technology. :-(

Still…it’s pretty nifty.

It’s hit & miss, but can be quite useful -

“how many employees at goldman sachs”

Result:

30067 people (Sunday, November 30, 2008)

includes nice graph for 2006 through 2009

Enter a stock ticker. You’ll see it coughs up some very useful info.

The kicker for me is that when I entered “arcsin(-2)” I got a result. That’s been one of my favorite questions when I’m interviewing youngsters who think they’re so terribly smart… I used to get all manner of lectures on the range of the sin() function as being “-1..+1″ etc.

Alpha flips out the correct answer in a blink. Neat stuff.

How do I please a woman?

Came up with Einstein, Charlemagne and Babe Ruth.

uhhhh……

So you have to be a physical genuis? A conquerer or maybe just club them over the head?

“collateralized debt obligations” =

Wolfram|Alpha isn’t sure how to compute an answer from your inputquestion for you folks:

if you could have a data base of financial info more transparent – what would the info be ?

[i'm working on a project]

Daisy, Daisy, give meee yoooouuuurrrrrrrrr annnnnnnnnnsssssssssssswwwwwwwwwwwwerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr dddddddddddddooooooooooooooooooooooooo……………………………….

I asked: “How long until Google buys Wolfram Alpha?”

Not the result I wanted:

http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=How+long+until+google+buys+wolfram+alpha%3F

Let’s see if they work on that for leverage with Google/Microsoft/Yahoo

They’ve had a deal with Microsoft since last year. Bing takes some of their results eg.

http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=integrate+y^2*cos%28x-y%29^2%2By*sin%28x%29^2+dx

http://www.bing.com/search?q=integrate+y^2*cos%28x-y%29^2%2By*sin%28x%29^2+dx&form=OSDSRC

Readers should get a Home Edition copy of Mathematica and play around with it. rrp $295.

Do yourself a favor and ask Wolfram-alpha, “are you skynet?”