David Talbot

A View from David Talbot

Wolfram Alpha to Launch Friday Evening

The debut of the “computational knowledge engine” will be webcast live.

  • May 13, 2009

The much-hyped new “computational knowledge engine” from physicist Stephen WolframWolfram Alpha–will launch on Friday evening and the event will be webcast for anyone curious to see what happens. The company, which is best known to date for it’s Mathematica software, has been doing modeling and simulation of various demand scenarios, hoping to avoid a launch-day crash.

The company announced the time of the launch on Tuesday evening, at the end of a day in which Google showed off a forthcoming service called Google Squared, which creates tables of numerical data culled from searching the web. In contrast, the Wolfram engine mainly taps its own curated databases, on everything from astronomy to genomics, then calculates answers and presents interesting tables and graphics to searchers using Mathematica. Both services intend to provide users with new ways to find and compute data. You can read a comparison of search results using Google and Wolfram here and an early report from the Wolfram headquarters in Champaign, IL, here.

“We can’t guarantee that everything will go smoothly. Indeed, we fully expect to encounter unanticipated situations along the way. We hope that you’ll find it interesting to join us as we work through these in real time,” the company wrote in a blog post announcing the event. “You can also go directly to justin.tv, which will be handling the live webcast feed.”

Become an MIT Technology Review Insider for in-depth analysis and unparalleled perspective.

Subscribe today

Uh oh–you've read all of your free articles for this month.

Insider Premium
$179.95/yr US PRICE

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Premium.
  • Insider Premium {! insider.prices.premium !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Our award winning magazine, unlimited access to our story archive, special discounts to MIT Technology Review Events, and exclusive content.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly magazine delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website

    The Download: our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation

    Access to the magazine PDF archive—thousands of articles going back to 1899 at your fingertips

    Special discounts to select partner offerings

    Discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Ad-free web experience

    First Look: exclusive early access to important stories, before they’re available to anyone else

    Insider Conversations: listen in on in-depth calls between our editors and today’s thought leaders

/
You've read all of your free articles this month. This is your last free article this month. You've read of free articles this month. or  for unlimited online access.