Last week speculation reigned about whether Google had set its sites on computational knowledge engine WolframAlpha, with the announcement that the search engine now is using WebGL technology for enhancing users’ ability to interact with complex, compound math functions. The search giant in December added 2-D graphing to its delivery of computed answers for calculations typed into its search box, and the most recent update means users now can plot and manipulate 3D graphs.
In addition to Google just wanting to own as much of search as possible – and increasingly to want to be a more semantically-enabled answer engine for user queries – discussion pointed to the fact that Wolfram Alpha is integrated with Apple’s Siri technology to help deliver factual answers to iPhone user queries. And Google itself reportedly is working on a Siri rival in a project code-named Majel that potentially could one-up Siri when it comes to delivering answers to requested information. Not to mention the recently publicized – and both lauded and lampooned – Project Glass, which has been described here as Google’s Siri for your eyes. (See the video here.) As of February, according to the NY Times, Siri accounted for 25 percent of all searches made on WolframAlpha.
WolframAlpha decided to make some more news of its own yesterday, following an already busy first quarter that saw, among other things, the launch of Wolfram Alpha Pro, a fee-based service that lets users compute with their own data, get dynamic versions of existing Wolfram|Alpha output, and download what WolframAlpha computes as data.
Now it’s added to its repertoire a feature that provides some computational insights into the work of the immortal Bard.