Monday, May 11, 2009

Does Anybody Really Know What Time it Is?

It's about time for a computer to cough up an answer to a simple question. Since the dawn of the Internet age I have been griping about how hard it is to get a straight answer out of a computer. Don't get me wrong Google and Yahoo are great tools and even that annoying Clippy dude from Microsoft Office will eventually help you stumble into and answer, but how long can we go on being this frustrated? They can put a man on the moon but they can't get a computer to answer a simple question like "is it raining in Seattle right now?" (OK, that's a silly question, of course it is...) I've been waiting to be able ask my computer simple questions just like those guys on Star Trek did.

Well, the wait may finally be over - WolframAlpha is coming!

What's the big deal? We have Google what more do we need? Yes, Google helps us find the answer, but WolframAlpha will tell us the answer. It is technology that has the ability to compute the answer on a case by case basis, only when asked, indeed, a more efficient way getting to what we need rather than trying to tap into reams of data that we have to then wade through.

I for one am excited. There hasn't been a lot of hype so I am sure not to be too disappointed if this turns out to be nothing. Some are saying , however, that this could be bigger than Google and that's saying something.

Keep your ears open for this one.