Friday, October 5, 2012

Wolfram|Alpha now solves free-form questions

John has 3 cookies more than Bill. Bill has half as many cookies as John. How many cookies does John have?
Everyone remembers a time in school when they were solving these problems by the pageful. For me this was less than 20 years ago.

Today, Wolfram|Alpha has support for answering these questions! It's an incredible development. (If you know about Wolfram|Alpha, you know this is merely the icing on the cake.) How many technologies have to be perfected and integrated for Wolfram|Alpha to exist? Off the top of my head, I can think of natural language processing (NLP), computer algebra system (CAS), and chemical, physical, astronomical, and other databases.

To me, Wolfram|Alpha is one of the marvels of our time. Give it a try, and be amazed.