Wolfram|Alpha Assumptions

The new Wolfram|Alpha “computational knowledge engine” is fun to play with. My favourite response so far comes from a search for Prince Edward Island:

Assuming “Prince Edward Island” is an island | Use as a volcano instead

While the system is remarkable, I’m sceptical that a resource like this can flourish in the hands of a private corporation. If the policies for data inclusion and curation are not open, the validity of the results will suffer.


One thought on “Wolfram|Alpha Assumptions

  1. They do a remarkable job of showing their sources on any results page – I think the biggest issue they’ll have isn’t that its controlled by a private corporation (Dictionaries and encyclopedia’s do a pretty good job on this front), but the amount of human resources they’ll have/need to add new sources and information to their databases.

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