NPR logo What's A Wolfram|Alpha? Can We Ask It?

What's A Wolfram|Alpha? Can We Ask It?

It never hurts to put your ear to the ground and hear what geeks are rumbling about and is heading down the prairie toward the rest of us. This week, it's something called "Wolfram|Alpha," (in English: the alpha version of a new tool called "Wolfram") a just-launched sort-of search engine that is described on its site as: ambitious, long-term project to make all systematic knowledge immediately computable by anyone. You enter your question or calculation, and Wolfram|Alpha uses its built-in algorithms and growing collection of data to compute the answer.

(For a further explanation, you can see a video from Stephen Wolfram here.)

Typing in your own name probably won't give you anything juicy back, but that's not what this search engine is for. It's more a computational analysis and data comparison tool.

Because it took me a little while to get my brain around it, I asked "What is a Wolfram|Alpha?" This was the answer I got back:

A new online computational tool, WolframAlpha. hide caption

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Well, that explains things.