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WolframAlpha Search Engine Seen As Important As Google

What makes the new knowledge engine different is the underlying technology that computes answers instead of looking them up in a huge database.
The ability to use natural language is considered the Holy Grail in communications between people and computers. Such advancements are considered pivotal in eventually weaving computers into the fabric of people's lives seen only in science fiction movies today.

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

While acknowledging that WolframAlpha is only a start for his team, the physicist said, "I think it's going to be pretty exciting ... a new paradigm for using computers and the Web."

Wolfram isn't the first to offer a knowledge engine on the Web. Question answering system Start was launched on the Web more than 15 years ago. The technology was developed by Boris Katz and his associates of the InfoLab Group at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

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