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Wolfram Alpha's first victim
Will the new Internet search tool by the creator of Mathematica kill Google? How about Wikipedia?
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olfram Alpha is no Google killer, said Lance Ulanoff in PC Magazine. Then again, it’s not supposed to be. But the new search tool created by Stephen Wolfram—the man who made Mathematica, the popular math, engineering, and science software—is a “serious tool for serious researchers, students, and any anyone who wants straight computational facts.”

Wolfram Alpha is certainly in no shape to “knock Google off the top spot” in its current form, said John Ozimeck in Britain’s The Register. But it’s a “very good start” in “semantic search”—the “fast-expanding” field aiming to compute answers to specific questions by tapping into the vast databases at our fingertips. In the long run, Wolfram Alpha could “revolutionize how we interact with the internet.”

So maybe Wolfram Alpha will actually help Google, said Christopher Dawson in ZDNet, by driving it to “innovate in semantic search,” too. Wolfram Alpha doesn’t index Web pages, so it will never be able to tell you what happened last night to the characters on “Lost” the way Google can. But Wolfram Alpha can give you factual answers fast, so it may be “a Wikipedia killer in the making.”

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