Wolfram Alpha: the intelligent search engine behind Siri

Posted in Apps Tagged

4 months ago, the release of iPhone 4s attracted many eyes. One of the biggest reason is the new function: Siri.  This interesting app will answer your question with a real voice. Since it’s a intelligent answer, we are interested about how could Apple do this? The answer is the intelligent search engine behind Siri: Wolfram Alpha.

In fact, the Wolfram Alpha is not associated with Apple. It’s founder  Stephen Wolfram defines it as a “professional intelligent search engine”. Stephen Wolfram is a legendary scientist, software designer and entrepreneur. His published his fist physics paper when he was 15 years old. When he was 20 years old, he got the doctor’s degree from California Institute of Technology. He also get the MacArthur prize by 22 years old.

Stephen Wolfram released Wolfram Alpha plan in 2009. The first version of Wolfram was composed of 5 million rows Mathematica codes and running on 10,000 CPUs. During the 2010 TED meeting, Stephen Wolfram introduced the history of Wolfram Alpha to the world.

You just need to input your question into the search box in Wolfram Alpha and it will display the answer in a humanized pattern. Here we provide some examples:

Do you like NFL? Want to know the historical record of each team in NFL Supper Bowl?

Are you an astrophile? Do you want to know where is the International Spcace Station?

The Wolfram Alpha will answer any physic or mathematics question. www.itgeeg.com

Or the Wolfram Alpha can track your IP address to search the UV index in your area and inform you if you need to use sun cream.

The market feedback show the cooperation with Apple and support Siri is absolutely a wise decision for Wolfram Alpha. A recent report from The New York Times pointed that 25% data traffic of Wolfram Alpha is bought by Siri. Previously, Wolfram Alpha also provide support for Bing.com

3 years ago, when Wolfram Alpha  was just released, some critics thinks it would be “Google Killer”. The CNET also made a review on it. They use the same keywords in Wolfram Alpha and Google to compare the result. The test result shows Wolfram Alpha provides more accurate search result when the keyword is related to scientific fields. But it is worse than Google when you are using life information keywords.

Wolfram Alpha remind the intelligent file search engine. But the future of Wolfram Alpha is still uncertain.  Will it enter common people’s daily life? But Wolfram Alpha is doing something to enter people’s life. They published their analysis about super bowl and losing weight.

Remember how you are using Google? Open Google.com and input your question. Then you may get the result from Quora  which always rank #1 in the result list. Maybe you noticed a question: is it the best way to find the solution? We are expecting a search engine revolution when intelligent search engine becomes a common part of our daily life other than just a tool for Frankenstein.