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May 16

Wolfram Alpha Computational engine test feedback

Posted by abiao at 14:35 | News | Comments(3) | Reads(9951)
No bigger news recently than Wolfram Alpha computational knowledge engine is finally available today, on 10/03/2009 I briefly wrote a post about what is wolfram alpha engine and what can it be used to service us, immediately after that, I applied to be a volunteer tester but got no reply. Anyway, it officially opens to public and we have chance to test its magic.

When talking about the pros and cons of Wolfram Alpha engine and Google, different people will offer different opinions, some people take it for granted that Wolfram Alpha will be a big threat to Google and eventually replace Google, however, others hold that Wolfram Alpha is just a computation calculator, and no matter how powerful it is, it is at most a calculator with search function smoke. Weighing up these two arguments, I would say they complement each other, for example, before you calculate an Europen option with Wolfram Alpha computational engine, you need to google at least what an Europen option is.

In my previous post I joked about if Wolfram Alpha would return a result of "Black Scholes call option price with strike 10, asset price 10, time to maturity 1 year, interest rate 3%, and 25% annual volatility", alright, it turns out to be YES, just type "Black Scholes", you will get a form similar to the following graph
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Input your parameter and select option types, the value of option you set, together with its Greeks and plots, are calculated as
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Open in new window
Open in new window

So far so good, but it seems the products Wolfram Alpha covers are limited, when I try to type Barrier option or Asian option, two simple exotic options, it says "Wolfram|Alpha isn't sure what to do with your input." there is no API users are able to add their own formulars, either. In brief, Wolfram alpha is a big step towards intelligent search engine, nevertheless, as it broadcasts at its main page: it is the first step in an ambitious, long-term project to make all systematic knowledge immediately computable by anyone.

Play around at http://www.wolframalpha.com/.


Next time the WolframAlpha team sends out marketing e-mail, may I gently
suggest that they actually state what the product is that they're hawking,
not merely its name or links to more info.

(E-mail pasted below, or at least as much of it as this window will allow in
one paste operation.)

********************
From: Wolfram|Alpha Team <donotreply@wolframalpha.com>
To: xxx@xxx.xxx
Subject: Wolfram|Alpha update
Date: May 27, 2009
It has been an exciting couple of weeks for the Wolfram|Alpha
Team.

We're thrilled by the media coverage Wolfram|Alpha is receiving
including these great articles by the Los Angeles Times and
Gizmodo:
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-wolframalpha19-2009may19,0,5810966.story
http://gizmodo.com/5264430

Since our launch, Wolfram|Alpha has processed 100 million
queries, and we've received nearly 55,000 pieces of feedback.

If you have yet to try Wolfram|Alpha, we invite you to start
exploring. There are helpful hints to get you started in the
examples pages:
http://www.wolframalpha.com/examples

One thing that sets Wolfram|Alpha apart is its computational
power, which comes from Mathematica. Wolfram|Alpha taps the
algorithmic power of Mathematica and the parallel power of
gridMathematica. Mathematica is also the deployment platform for
Wolfram|Alpha, demonstrating the power and flexibility of
webMathematica.

The launch of Wolfram|Alpha is just the beginning of our endeavor
to make all of the world's systematic knowledge immediately
computable and accessible to everyone. We hope you will join us
in our journey.

We look forward to sharing with you and the Wolfram|Alpha
Community the improvements we're making as Wolfram|Alpha grows,
including some changes that Stephen Wolfram pointed out in this
Wolfram|Alpha Blog post:
http://blog.wolframalpha.com/2009/05/26/the-first-week-of-wolframalpha-thank-you

Best regards,


The Wolfram|Alpha Team
********************
daz, it is not my fault[emot]grin[/emot], i have the same complaint as well.
engine testing Email Homepage
I think there are many types of informational queries where they're not even trying to compete, because there's no point. This is an engine that answers some kinds of questions very well
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