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  #21  
Old 05-18-2009, 06:04 PM
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This might be the best thing since sliced bread, but I get a whole lot of "Wolfram|Alpha isn't sure what to do with your input."

I'm not sure if I'm smart enough to know what to look for.
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  #22  
Old 05-18-2009, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1695814 View Post
This might be the best thing since sliced bread, but I get a whole lot of "Wolfram|Alpha isn't sure what to do with your input."

I'm not sure if I'm smart enough to know what to look for.
I've noticed it's pretty limited, too. I went back to google for a bunch of things. The project seems pretty embryonic (unless you want to do a bunch of symbolic math....)

I like the concept, but it needs a lot of development. I wasn't too terribly happy with the connections to original data sources - usually you get the home page, and not the original reference. So back to google again.
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  #24  
Old 05-18-2009, 09:43 PM
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Outstanding!
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  #25  
Old 05-18-2009, 09:56 PM
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The unit converter is pretty cool.

If you do '1500 Pascals in meters' it tells you you can't do that, but it takes 6 inches of water to exert a force of 1500 Pa, and that the atmospheric pressure is 1500 Pa at around 94,000 feet.
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  #26  
Old 05-19-2009, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1695814 View Post
This might be the best thing since sliced bread, but I get a whole lot of "Wolfram|Alpha isn't sure what to do with your input."

I'm not sure if I'm smart enough to know what to look for.
I find myself saying the same thing to people sometimes.
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  #27  
Old 05-19-2009, 10:29 AM
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I'm surprised no one has posted this yet: http://www32.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=actuary
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Old 05-19-2009, 11:06 AM
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number of pirates compared with global temperature.

I would have thought it could crack that one .
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  #29  
Old 05-19-2009, 04:25 PM
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Not quite as funny, but other Q types:
http://www.historyteachersattic.com/...ocial-studies/
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  #30  
Old 05-20-2009, 09:23 AM
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Review from Charlie Martin:
http://pajamasmedia.com/edgelings/20...ind-of-search/

Quote:
But the problem I have with Alpha is that I’ve yet to ask it a real question, one I wanted to know something about, and get a useful answer. Ask it about “John Searle” and you get his full name and place of birth. (Here in Denver, in fact – I didn’t know that.) Ask about “John Searle Chinese Room”, the link I wanted above, and you get “Wolfram|Alpha isn’t sure what to do with your input”.

So, for now at least, Alpha appears to be sort of the ultimate desk calculator - many things you might want to calculate, it will calculate. Used with Google, it’s better. If, say, you want to compute how many golf balls would fit inside the Earth, you can use Google to find the diameter of a golf ball (1.680 inches), use Alpha to find the volume of the Earth in cubic inches (6.611025) and finally compute the answer (about 2.51025.). It can’t do it all at once, though: you have to look up the diameter (Google), find the volume (Alpha), save the volume, find the volume of the Earth in cubic inches (Alpha) save the volume in its plain text form because you can’t use the display form, then do the division.

In other words, rather than being the Google-killer, Alpha for the moment is really mainly a curiosity, plus a way to get access to some of the simple parts of Mathematica without paying $2500 for a license. Wolfram and his team are working every day to add more knowledge, but others, like Doug Lenat and Cyc have done similar things; as with most all AI projects, it’s easy to start something like this, and hard to really make something of it.
I'm pretty stoked about having free (stripped-down) Mathematica. But yeah, it's somewhat limited for research purposes. Looks more like an educational tool for now.
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