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  #1  
Old 05-12-2009, 03:04 PM
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Default Stephen Wolfram To Release Search

Stephen Wolfram, who brought us Mathematica and MathWorld will release a new style search engine next week:

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/new..._alpha_release

Spoiler:
Hype Building for Imminent Wolfram Alpha Release
Posted 05/12/09 at 01:38:16 PM | by Paul Lilly

Much to the chagrin of Stephen Wolfram (at least as far as he's willing to admit publicly), hype for his Wolfram Alpha search engine continues to mount as it gears up for a public release later this month.

"I am not keen on the hype," said Wolfram, scientist, entrepreneur, and founder of Wolfram Research, the company responsible for developing the new search engine.

The comparison to Google might have been inevitable, but Wolfram Alpha doesn't search through web pages. Instead, it mixes "many clever algorithms and heuristics" to compute answers to questions by tapping into an enormous collection of data. For example, Wolfram Alpha would be a prime Jeopardy candidate, able to quickly recite facts like whether the Eiffel Tower is taller than Seattle's Space Needle.

When it goes live next week, the search engine will represent a work in progress and not a finished product. The full potential might not be reached for decades.
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Old 05-12-2009, 03:22 PM
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I've been following the chatter about it on Twitter. Here is a video of Wolfram presenting the concept at Harvard. The video is quite long. I watched the first 30 min, which was enough to convince me that he's probably on to something.

Like so many other nascent web technologies right now, it may not survive in its current/initial form, but it does provide an interesting peek at the future of the web and the kind things we will able to do as technologies like Wolfram appear and mature. We haven't even scratched the surface yet. As amazing as the Google search field is, it will look relatively "dumb" in just a few years. Eventually, we'll be able to enter just about any kind of query/calculation we want in natural language and get instant results.
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Last edited by E; 05-12-2009 at 08:58 PM.. Reason: spelling
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  #3  
Old 05-12-2009, 05:21 PM
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I heard this story about the same time I heard they have a computer Jeopardy contestant. Its seems the big battle is understanding and compiling human language.
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Old 05-12-2009, 05:32 PM
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Of course, Google never stays still:
http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/...r-updates.html
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Old 05-13-2009, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by cohomology View Post
I heard this story about the same time I heard they have a computer Jeopardy contestant. Its seems the big battle is understanding and compiling human language.
Yes. See page 7 of this newsletter. I specifically refer to the long history of attempts to communicate with computers in natural language. I guess I should check ou what Wolfram is doing, to see if things really have changed. But I fear it will be another over-hyped story - like the Segway.
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Old 05-13-2009, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by campbell View Post
Of course, Google never stays still:
http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/...r-updates.html
" I had a woman ask me why she couldn't organize her results by time"
Somehow, I don't remember being there, but I'm sure I asked this. I wonder if it will ever become available when I do searches elsewhere - such as the SOA web site. . .
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My latest favorite quotes, updated Nov. 20, 2018.

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And def agree w/ JMO.
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This. And everything else JMO wrote.
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I feel like ERM is 90% buzzwords, and that the underlying agenda is to make sure at least one of your Corporate Officers is not dumb.
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  #7  
Old 05-13-2009, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMO View Post
Yes. See page 7 of this newsletter. I specifically refer to the long history of attempts to communicate with computers in natural language. I guess I should check out what Wolfram is doing, to see if things really have changed. But I fear it will be another over-hyped story - like the Segway.


In your article you said:
Quote:
Meanwhile, the need to protect Web sites against computer attacks has generated a test called CAPTCHA. This is a program that displays a series of letters and/or numbers in various fonts and positions. So far, computers have proved to be very bad at character recognition, while humans can easily interpret the series and type in what they have read. The acronym, in case you were wondering, stands for Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers and Humans Apart.
I found an article recently (but can't find it now) about how scientists are starting to outsource problems like character recognition to hackers. Basically, they take difficult to perform tasks and let the hacker break them, thus solving the problem.

Meanwhile, Google has be converting thousands of books to digital format. Part of that is that some of the text is incomplete or smudged. They then use these bits of text as CAPTCHAs. It only takes a couple of people to get a consensus on what the smudged words say.
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Old 05-13-2009, 09:39 AM
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" I had a woman ask me why she couldn't organize her results by time"
Somehow, I don't remember being there, but I'm sure I asked this. I wonder if it will ever become available when I do searches elsewhere - such as the SOA web site. . .
I don't know if this is something you are looking for:
http://lifehacker.com/5239562/displa...search-results
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Old 05-13-2009, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by ahow View Post


Meanwhile, Google has be converting thousands of books to digital format. Part of that is that some of the text is incomplete or smudged. They then use these bits of text as CAPTCHAs. It only takes a couple of people to get a consensus on what the smudged words say.
This project is called Re-CAPTCHA, by the way. They give you two bits of text - one the "real" CAPTCHA (i.e., they know what the answer is supposed to be) and the other is the Re-CAPTCHA. You're supposed to enter both strings, and if you match the CAPTCHA then they add your Re-CAPTCHA answer to their (Bayesian, most likely) software...

You can tell sometimes which is the Re-CAPTCHA, because it can be indecipherable, unlike the real CAPTCHA.
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  #10  
Old 05-13-2009, 09:48 AM
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Thanks, ahow - Now, where do I put this magic code? I tried google.com&as_qdr=y15, and I tried putting &as_qdr=y15 into the search box. Neither one did what was advertised. I feel
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Pluto is no longer a planet and I am no longer an actuary. Please take my opinions as non-actuarial.


My latest favorite quotes, updated Nov. 20, 2018.

Spoiler:
I should keep these four permanently.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rekrap View Post
JMO is right
Quote:
Originally Posted by campbell View Post
I agree with JMO.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Westley View Post
And def agree w/ JMO.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MG View Post
This. And everything else JMO wrote.
And this all purpose permanent quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr T Non-Fan View Post
Yup, it is always someone else's fault.
MORE:
All purpose response for careers forum:
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorNo View Post
Depends upon the employer and the situation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by El Actuario View Post
Therapists should ask the right questions, not give the right answers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sredni Vashtar View Post
I feel like ERM is 90% buzzwords, and that the underlying agenda is to make sure at least one of your Corporate Officers is not dumb.
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