Apple’s iPhone 4S, via Siri, now accounts for a quarter of Wolfram Alpha queries

“There was skepticism in 2009, when Wolfram Alpha arrived, with critics saying the approach was very limited, useful mainly for math and science facts. But the technology has come a long way, including delivering many answers for Siri, the question-answering personal assistant in the Apple iPhone 4S,” Steve Lohr reports for The New York Times.

“The new version of Wolfram Alpha arrives Wednesday afternoon. Its formal name is Wolfram Alpha Pro, and Dr. Stephen Wolfram calls ‘Step 2, the next step of what can be done with this approach,’ which he describes as a ‘computational knowledge engine.’ This is a premium version of the search engine: $4.99 a month, or $2.99 for students,” Lohr reports. “The new version handles data and images. In a recent demonstration, Dr. Wolfram, using his computer mouse, dragged in a table of the gross domestic product figures for France for 1961 to 2010, and Wolfram Alpha produced on the Web page a color-coded bar chart, which could be downloaded in different document formats.”

Lohr reports, “Siri accounts for about a quarter of the queries fielded by Wolfram Alpha, whose staff has grown to 200.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

12 Comments

    1. “Wolfram Alpha (also written WolframAlpha and Wolfram|Alpha) is an answer-engine developed by Wolfram Research. It is an online service that answers factual queries directly by computing the answer from structured data, rather than providing a list of documents or web pages that might contain the answer as a search engine might.[3] It was announced in March 2009 by British scientist Stephen Wolfram, and was released to the public on 15 May 2009.[1]”
      Notice the word British. The same country that Sir Jony Ive and Tim Berners-Lee hail from.
      What were you saying about the US?
      I’ll expect an apology on behalf of my countryman shortly.

          1. Hey, you guys all forgot Jonny Ives, who I’ld place first.

            My great grand parents were “Graves” from England and I would never deride the English people & traditions.

      1. I heard a great comparison once that I love:

        What is the difference between Britain and the United States?

        In the United States, 100 years is a long time. In Britain, 100 miles is a long ways.

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