New Search Engine Gets Specific

A Wolfram the search engine to take on Google? Not quite, but it sure seems handy….

WolframAlpha is a new search engine dreamed up by British-born physics genius Stephen Worfram, who earned a Ph.D by the time he was 20 years old.

So what sets this engine apart from Google, Yahoo etc? Well, Wolfram insists, it is not a search engine, but rather a computational knowledge engine. Instead of listing a series of websites that a conventional search would produce, it grabs specific information from those websites.

For example, if you type in “tallest buildings”, it doesn’t list the websites where this list might exist, it actually lists the five tallest buildings in the world. There is also a “more” link to click on, whereby the web page opens up and gives you a longer list.

However, it is not as specific as a real search engine because when typing in ‘world’s oldest man’, there was no answer and it said “WolframAlpha is unsure what to do with your input”. This is weird because it does state on its website to user that “you only get answers about objective facts”, which is a category you would think the world’s oldest man would have fallen into (unless there are many claimants).

To be fair, the engine is still in its infancy, and there are going to be a few speed bumps that needs sorting. However, the idea is sound, and like any fledgling enterprise, it will probably need a couple more years of investment and tinkering before it becomes a bona fide site that people flock to for information.