It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Wolfram Alpha is coming, science geeks get ready!

page: 1
11
<<   2  3 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Apr, 10 2009 @ 07:54 PM
link   
Science geeks like me will be ready for Wolfram Alpha.

This could change the game and it sounds great.

Wolfram Alpha is a search engine that answers questions. It's not like Google or Yahoo.

Here's an article.

Stephen Wolfram is building something new -- and it is really impressive and significant. In fact it may be as important for the Web (and the world) as Google, but for a different purpose. It's not a "Google killer" -- it does something different. It's an "answer engine" rather than a search engine.

In a nutshell, Wolfram and his team have built what he calls a "computational knowledge engine" for the Web. OK, so what does that really mean? Basically it means that you can ask it factual questions and it computes answers for you.

It doesn't simply return documents that (might) contain the answers, like Google does, and it isn't just a giant database of knowledge, like the Wikipedia. It doesn't simply parse natural language and then use that to retrieve documents, like Powerset, for example.

Instead, Wolfram Alpha actually computes the answers to a wide range of questions -- like questions that have factual answers such as "What is the location of Timbuktu?" or "How many protons are in a hydrogen atom?," "What was the average rainfall in Boston last year?," "What is the 307th digit of Pi?," or "what would 80/20 vision look like?"

Think about that for a minute. It computes the answers. Wolfram Alpha doesn't simply contain huge amounts of manually entered pairs of questions and answers, nor does it search for answers in a database of facts. Instead, it understands and then computes answers to certain kinds of questions.

www.twine.com...

Here's the search engine.
www.wolframalpha.com...

This should be interesting but I'm not sure how popular it will be.

Here's a little info on Stephen Wolfram:

Stephen Wolfram is a distinguished scientist, inventor, author, and business leader. He is the creator of Mathematica, the author of A New Kind of Science, and the founder and CEO of Wolfram Research. His career has been characterized by a sequence of highly original and significant achievements.

[edit on 10-4-2009 by platosallegory]




posted on Apr, 10 2009 @ 08:15 PM
link   
How far will it 'compute' the answer? I'm guessing it will be based on our current knowledge and therefore if I was to ask it a question, say 'what is the Sun?' Will it offer me a few answers, maybe from varying perspectives, such as Electric Sun model and a few other (/sigh) 'Fringe' ideas or will I just get the 'standard model' explanation?

I ask this because if I was to get a few options, with maybe how 'confident' it is with the answer (Say 'Standard model 84% Electric Sun 56% etc. etc.) I would welcome this with open arms, on the other hand if it spoon feeds you information from one perspective, this will hinder us more than help us IMHO.

A cool concept, but I'm still dubious.

(Just to add, I often find the most interesting information as I'm looking for other stuff, this would totally remove that, same for 'alternate perspectives')

EMM

[edit on 10-4-2009 by ElectroMagnetic Multivers]



posted on Apr, 10 2009 @ 08:18 PM
link   
This should be cool to use if it is as billed. I read A New Kind of Science a few years back and am still trying to figure out what that was all about. I understand the basics of cellular automata, but how he bridges that to the basic sciences was lost on me.

But back to wolframalpha: to accomplish what is claimed would seem to require strong AI. Are we even close to that?



posted on Apr, 10 2009 @ 08:20 PM
link   
Let me see what questions will I ask it.

Does the US Government lie to its people?
Are Chemtrails real?
What will happen in 2012?
What causes cancer?
What is the best type of governmental system?
Are ghosts real?
Are vampires real?
Are humans crazy?
What is the answer to life, the universe and everything?
Is fluoride bad for people?



posted on Apr, 10 2009 @ 08:24 PM
link   
Very interesting! I look forward to giving this a try. Thanks for the info



posted on Apr, 10 2009 @ 08:36 PM
link   

Originally posted by Tentickles
Let me see what questions will I ask it.

Does the US Government lie to its people?
Are Chemtrails real?
What will happen in 2012?
What causes cancer?
What is the best type of governmental system?
Are ghosts real?
Are vampires real?
Are humans crazy?
What is the answer to life, the universe and everything?
Is fluoride bad for people?


-yes
-no
-nothing
-lots of things
-An anarcho-syndicalist commune, take it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week. But all the decision of that officer must be approved at a bi-weekly meeting by a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs.
-maybe
-no
-yes
-42
-yes

pfft super computer or drunken fool, you choose.






[edit on 10-4-2009 by pazcat]



posted on Apr, 10 2009 @ 09:05 PM
link   

Originally posted by pazcat
-An anarcho-syndicalist commune, take it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week. But all the decision of that officer must be approved at a bi-weekly meeting by a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs.


... You can't expect to wield supreme executive power just 'cause
some watery tart threw a sword at you!

Thank you so much for that reference. Star for you. S&F for the op aswell.



posted on Apr, 10 2009 @ 09:40 PM
link   
Cool, I've used that guys Mathematica software a few times when I was in school. I don't really remember it much but I seem to remember he did a pretty good job with that, so hopefully this idea of his works out. It sounds really useful, but I'm having trouble imagining it working very well, at least for more complex questions. For simpler things, it makes sense to me, but that's probably just because this guy is smarter than I am!



posted on Apr, 10 2009 @ 10:40 PM
link   
I can see this being a real hit with the students. Not so much for teachers. lol I think the quality of the answers it provides will be highly dependent on the quality of the questions asked. Garbage in, garbage out comes to mind.

Tentickles,... excellent questions. Pazcat,... Excellent answers. lol

I have a question for it. What the hell am I doing playing in the forums on a Friday night!!! I eagerly await the answer.



posted on Apr, 11 2009 @ 02:49 AM
link   
This is how it will work. Wolfram described it on his blog.

A lot of it is now on the web—in billions of pages of text. And with search engines, we can very efficiently search for specific terms and phrases in that text.

But we can’t compute from that. And in effect, we can only answer questions that have been literally asked before. We can look things up, but we can’t figure anything new out.

But armed with Mathematica and NKS I realized there’s another way: explicitly implement methods and models, as algorithms, and explicitly curate all data so that it is immediately computable

All one needs to be able to do is to take questions people ask in natural language, and represent them in a precise form that fits into the computations one can do.

I wasn’t at all sure it was going to work. But I’m happy to say that with a mixture of many clever algorithms and heuristics, lots of linguistic discovery and linguistic curation, and what probably amount to some serious theoretical breakthroughs, we’re actually managing to make it work.

Pulling all of this together to create a true computational knowledge engine is a very difficult task.

blog.wolfram.com...

It sounds like Wolfram has found a natural language on the web. This language allows you to ask questions and the program will compute the answer based on vast sums of data input.

This is what we do. Except we use reason and our feelings so we don't always make good choices. If I'm not mistaken, Wolfram is claiming that this program will give you the best answer even if it's not the comfortable answer.

This should be interesting.

You can ask something simple like where did the O.K. Corral take place? You can also ask something like, will the Iraq war lead to a world war?

I think it will answer the question about the Iraq war by looking at information on the Iraq war and then looking at the present state of affairs in the world and computing what's the most likely outcome.

I think you might have a tougher time with questions like, when will the world end?

The only data to build on might be info about 2012. Then again, if the program can take data from our current situation in the world and calculate when the world will end (if it will end), then this will be ABSOLUTELY AMAZING.

The only thing you have to think about is if the program will say the world will end in 5 years because of humans and then it computes that humans need to be taking out, it could get like I-Robot
.



posted on Apr, 11 2009 @ 09:34 AM
link   
They are also talking about a supercomputer you can ask questions. This is from the New Scientist.

In cult sci-fi tale Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the most powerful computer in the universe was charged with finding the answer to life, the universe, and everything.

In the real world, a newly built supercomputer that is the most powerful ever dedicated to science will be tackling questions about climate change, supernovas, and the structure of water.

The projects were chosen in a peer-reviewed process designed to get the computer producing useful science even during the period when its performance is still being fine-tuned by engineers.

Jaguar is located at the National Center for Computational Sciences (NCCS), part of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee, and has a peak operating performance of 1.64 petaflops, meaning it can perform more than a million billion mathematical operations every second.

Jaguar has 181,000 processing cores, compared to the one or two found in most desktop machines. The world's only more powerful computer is the US Nuclear Security Administration's 1.7-petaflop Roadrunner at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

www.newscientist.com...

This seems to be where technology is headed. We are going from automation to an interactive compter.

Now a computer is like the automation on a Time Warner cable line. You get a set of answers and questions that are pre programmed.

It looks like now, computers will start to answer questions and become more interactive.

The computer will think. This is not AI but I think this could be even bigger. These computers will answer questions and come up with new answers by just mining through billions of pages of data.

So if the program was hooked up to the internet, it would be a big brain because of all of the human input of information.

Could this take over the world? I think it can eventually.

This is human thinking but without reason and empathy.

Could these things be the start of the technological singularity?



posted on Apr, 11 2009 @ 12:18 PM
link   

Originally posted by ElectroMagnetic Multivers
How far will it 'compute' the answer? I'm guessing it will be based on our current knowledge and therefore if I was to ask it a question, say 'what is the Sun?' Will it offer me a few answers, maybe from varying perspectives, such as Electric Sun model and a few other (/sigh) 'Fringe' ideas or will I just get the 'standard model' explanation?

I ask this because if I was to get a few options, with maybe how 'confident' it is with the answer (Say 'Standard model 84% Electric Sun 56% etc. etc.) I would welcome this with open arms, on the other hand if it spoon feeds you information from one perspective, this will hinder us more than help us IMHO.

A cool concept, but I'm still dubious.

(Just to add, I often find the most interesting information as I'm looking for other stuff, this would totally remove that, same for 'alternate perspectives')

EMM

[edit on 10-4-2009 by ElectroMagnetic Multivers]


Whoever controls it would be in a very powerful position to brainwash people and shape their thinking.Chances are it will spoon feed the standard model and anyone thinking different would get blacklisted and their web pages banned or hidden in result 5674458.

Tyrants and dictators would love this.Especially in America and other tyrant states.



posted on Apr, 11 2009 @ 01:14 PM
link   

Originally posted by platosallegory
...in effect, we can only answer questions that have been literally asked before. We can look things up, but we can’t figure anything new out.


I can't tell you how much I disagree with that quote.

I'm really looking forward to Wolfram Alpha, but come on... are humans really so stupid that they can't figure out anything new? I figure stuff out every day. I ask questions that no one else has asked. I come up with new ways of solving old problems. I don't need some computer to think for me, though it will be nice to get an alternative perspective.

Whether or not I will like this depends on whether WA is coming to it's own conclusions based on it's comprehension of all available information... or if it'll just send us the standard packaged answers that we're supposed to accept.



posted on Apr, 11 2009 @ 01:30 PM
link   

Originally posted by platosallegory
.
You can ask something simple like where did the O.K. Corral take place? You can also ask something like, will the Iraq war lead to a world war?


The traditional search engines don't understand the meaning of a sentence; they just return a list of web pages where any of the words that make the sentence appear.

So if you crank up a search engine with Will the Iraq war lead to a world war?, the engine returns this list"
www.google.com...

Neither of the returned items deals with the question. The overcome the shortcoming, the alternative search engine will treat the whole sentence as one word and "compute" its "synonyms," meaning it will modify the question by rephrasing it to create a list of options. Then it will search for the whole sentences and redirects you to ATS -- the most likely web site where a question of this character finds it's match. The new search engine will reorganize the words of the question to form possible answers, such as The Iraq war will not lead to a world war and its all possible variants. Since the spellchecker is used very sparingly by the ATS posters, Steven Wolfram faces a challenge to answer this particular question.

Q: Will Steven Wolfram overcome this challenge?

A: www.google.com...




posted on Apr, 11 2009 @ 03:41 PM
link   
reply to post by stander
 


I think Wolfram is saying he overcame some of these challenges. He doesn't explain exactly how (I'm sure if it works he wants to keep it quiet).

On his blog, he says:

So how can we deal with that? Well, some people have thought the way forward must be to somehow automatically understand the natural language that exists on the web. Perhaps getting the web semantically tagged to make that easier.

The way humans normally communicate is through natural language. And when one’s dealing with the whole spectrum of knowledge, I think that’s the only realistic option for communicating with computers too.

blog.wolfram.com...

If this is correct, it's like that line from the Matrix,"a singular consciousness that spawned an entire race of machines."

I think AI will not come from robots that act like humans but a program that might eventually create AI.

I think AI can just mimic us because of our soul/spirit. So an animal has a minimal form of consciousness but they don't have the awareness to reason or be self aware. A computer will have an advanced form of consciousness without self awareness or reason.

So this machine might simulate beings that have empathy and reason but it will be too intelligent to understand these things. Empathy and reason get in the way doing the logical thing. So if the logical thing is to destroy humans and create a simulated enviroment, then it will not feel bad about killing humans because it's doing the logical thing.

So things like Wolfram Alpha, the supercomputer and Creativity Machines could be very interesting.

Creativity Machines were created by Stephen Thaler.

Stephen Thaler has created a "creativity machine" that can do things like compose songs, make up new words, invent new toothbrushes, design warheads and power a robot army. Neat, huh? He's founded a company called Imagination Engines to monetize the technology. The technology has been called Artificial Intelligence's "best bet" by NASA.

www.castrader.com...
www.imagination-engines.com...

Thaler even talked about connecting these neural networks to the information on the internet so they could have a huge set of data to work with.

This should get interesting.



posted on Apr, 11 2009 @ 05:22 PM
link   
We might be seeing the birth of the technological singularity with things like supercomputers, Wolfram Alpha and creativity machines.

I have been looking into this a little and it makes sense. This is from Wikipedia.

The technological singularity is a theoretical future point that takes place during a period of unprecedented technological progress sometime after the creation of a Superintelligence.

Statistician I. J. Good first wrote of an "intelligence explosion," suggesting that if machines could even slightly surpass human intellect, they could improve their own designs in ways unforeseen by their designers, and thus recursively augment themselves into far greater intelligences. The first such improvements might be small, but as the machine became more intelligent it would become better at becoming more intelligent, which could lead to an exponential and quite sudden growth in intelligence.

It went on to say:

Berglas (2008) argues that unlike man, a computer based intelligence is not tied to any particular body, which would give it a radically different world view. In particular, a software intelligence would essentially be immortal and so have no need to produce independent children that live on after it dies. It would thus have no evolutionary need for love.

en.wikipedia.org...

What if when the universe reaches this singularity, it loops back on itself. This means some of us will move beyond the singularity and others will return to the universe before the singularity as it loops back on itself.

So Heaven could be beyond the singularity and hell could be looping back before the singularity.

Here's Wikipedia on Superintelligence:

Superintelligence is an artificially enhanced human brain, a computer program or a device that is much smarter, more creative and wiser than any current or past existing human brain. The uniqueness of superintelligence involves a scenario where the superintelligence continues to enhance its own capability and intelligence. Such an event has been termed a "singularity" by theorists.

en.wikipedia.org...

So we could be closer to this singularity than some may think.



posted on Apr, 12 2009 @ 02:20 PM
link   
reply to post by platosallegory
 

Well, let's just wait until the Alpha is launched to see what it actually does. Judging from the = symbol at the end of the query pane, Alpha will search the web and spits out the results in its own format if it locates the web page with the particular information. But would it recognize a possible mistake in the answer? Just don't tell me that the Internet is right all the time.

I hope it will come with a syntax correction feature, coz the Integrator doesn't have it. If you type in sin [x] to find an antiderivative to this function, the Integrator informs you that the antiderivative doesn't exist. But it does and only when you use the proper syntax sin[x]. That's a big shortcoming for the Wolfram Integrator, coz there are so many functions for which there is really no antiderivative. So a person may make a mistake in the syntax just to learn that the antiderivative doesn't exist. In other words, the Integrator doesn't anticipate a possible typo in the entry line! I hope that this won't be the same case with Alpha:

Q: the sped of light =

A: Answer to this question doesn't exist



[edit on 4/12/2009 by stander]



posted on Apr, 12 2009 @ 07:02 PM
link   
Does anyone consider how many servers this 'Wolfram' search engine would need to access the billions of pages of text, articles, research papers...

to get a result that might be on par with a 'Nexus' research outline...

& having the result 'instantly' (or in the same time frame as a Google result)
would be neigh on impossible with present technology.

pipe- dream stuff, in the current time.. but possible (with a bunch of constraints/caveats) in the somewhat-near future



posted on May, 3 2009 @ 10:21 AM
link   
Here's a new article on Wolfram Alpha, it sounds pretty big.

The biggest internet revolution for a generation will be unveiled this month with the launch of software that will understand questions and give specific, tailored answers in a way that the web has never managed before.

The new system, Wolfram Alpha, showcased at Harvard University in the US last week, takes the first step towards what many consider to be the internet's Holy Grail – a global store of information that understands and responds to ordinary language in the same way a person does.

Although the system is still new, it has already produced massive interest and excitement among technology pundits and internet watchers.

Computer experts believe the new search engine will be an evolutionary leap in the development of the internet. Nova Spivack, an internet and computer expert, said that Wolfram Alpha could prove just as important as Google. "It is really impressive and significant," he wrote. "In fact it may be as important for the web (and the world) as Google, but for a different purpose.

Tom Simpson, of the blog Convergenceofeverything.com, said: "What are the wider implications exactly? A new paradigm for using computers and the web? Probably. Emerging artificial intelligence and a step towards a self-organising internet? Possibly... I think this could be big."

www.independent.co.uk...

This is also what some tech people are saying about it:

"For those of us tired of hundreds of pages of results that do not really have a lot to do with what we are trying to find out, Wolfram Alpha may be what we have been waiting for."

Michael W Jones, Tech.blorge.com

"If it is not gobbled up by one of the industry superpowers, his company may well grow to become one of them in a small number of years, with most of us setting our default browser to be Wolfram Alpha."

Doug Lenat, Semanticuniverse.com

"It's like plugging into an electric brain."

Matt Marshall, Venturebeat.com

"This is like a Holy Grail... the ability to look inside data sources that can't easily be crawled and provide answers from them."

Danny Sullivan, editor-in-chief of searchengineland.com

This could be very interesting.

Edit - Here are some screenshots, WOW! This is like a brain on the internet. Just think about homework. Kids in school or college can ask Wolfram Alpha anything.

www.readwriteweb.com...

[edit on 3-5-2009 by platosallegory]



posted on May, 3 2009 @ 11:01 AM
link   
reply to post by platosallegory
 


Here's the 10 min vid from youtube, where he demonstrates how you can use Wolfram|Alpha.




new topics

top topics



 
11
<<   2  3 >>

log in

join