Can this man topple Google?


These are great days we're living, bros
Stephen Wolfram had a dream: to invent a search engine that could work stuff out for us. Alex Bellos meets the scientist who might just change the way we use the internet.

The British scientist Stephen Wolfram has a clear vision for the future - a vision that dates back to his childhood in the 1960s and 70s. In those days, we didn't prophesise that computer technology would bring us convenient ways to shop, or new ways to talk to our friends in short sentences.

The dream was much grander - that computers would work out stuff for us, a bit like Hal in 2001: A Space Odyssey (without the murderous intent).

It was with this aspiration that Wolfram launched Wolfram|Alpha (, a website that aims to be able to answer any factual question asked of it. Wolfram says he wanted to create an "insanely ambitious thing, like the science fiction computers of old".

Currently, for example, when we want to know something on the web, our default action is to Google it, but this just searches for words rather than calculating answers, so leads you only to what has already been written, which may or may not be what you want to know.

Wolfram|Alpha, on the other hand, is an attempt to change the way we interact with knowledge on the web, to make the web more intelligent - by providing bespoke, freshly computed answers from a curated database of sourced facts.



silent ghost
i dont think so. its not as informative like i thought it would be. it takes one word and defines it. you can use the same word in diffrent sentances and itll pick that same word.
ex: "will i die from eating zits" will i die from eating feecies" it singles out the word "eat" everytime. try it.....