People have long been wondering when some real competition for Google will come along in the world of internet search. Wolfram Alpha, a new tool set to be released later this month, could be just that.
The claim is that the software will understand and respond to ordinary language in the same way a person does. You could type in “What was the weather like in London on the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated?” and instead of getting links to 18,500 web links, as you would on Google, this system will simply return the answer.
Some internet watchers have gone as far as calling this the internet’s “Holy Grail.” Others are much more skeptical.
The software’s inventor, Brit Dr. Stephen Wolfram who showcased his system at Harvard University last week, is the first to admit it has shortcomings. For example, it doesn’t yet have a great grasp of popular culture.