Makes pub quiz cheating even easier!
Will help people get answers easier and be good for society
Will provide yet another reason for people not to think for themselves
Probably won't work properly anyway
This technology could totally change the way most people search for information, you would no longer need to search through multiple possibly related webpages to find the actual answer. The answer would simply be presented to you by the engine. Whether this is a good thing or simply another crutch that people will use instead of thinking for them selves is up for debate but it certainly looks interesting.Computer scientist, Stephen Wolfram, feels that he has put together at least the initial version of a computer that actually answers factual questions, a la Star Trek’s ship computers. His version will be found on their Web-based application, Wolfram Alpha.
What does this mean? Well instead of returning links to pages that may (or may not) contain the answer to your questions, Wolfram will respond with the actual answer. Now the caveat ‘factual’ is important. You can ask it questions like ‘why is the sky blue?’ or ‘how many bones are in the human body?’, but probably not ‘do you think abortion is wrong?’. This computational knowledge engine uses natural language to parse the questions and can also accept coded queries.
Last edited by SYNACK; 9th March 2009 at 04:02 AM.
Makes pub quiz cheating even easier!
Google already do this in a way with their Google SMS service. You can ask it things like the population of Spain and it will come back with the answer. Obviously it's only an approximation... Google's not that good.. yet!
Nice. It may be a bit limited if they stick to an encyclopedia style database though. They need to ensure it includes things like train times, and other services. So if someone types 'when is the first bus from Minehead to Taunton?' it will give an answer taken from the First Bus site. Otherwise, it is, to be honest, limited in use.
If its something obscure or disputed, how could you trust what it came back with? Id rather look at the sources myself I think
I don't really see this has anything revolutionary if I am honest. It's only useful for factual information as the example it gives is open to personal opinion. Some people think it's wrong and other people think it's right. I actually enjoy reading and researching on the web
In theory its great, bringing lots of information to you quickly. But will it work in reality, suppose its only as clever as the original information and the way it finds and catagorises it.
In a recent epiosode of Numb3rs, the DARPA had developed an AI that could pass the turing(sp) test, but all it actually was was a big googlebot that looked up the correct response to whatever question it was asked...
Hmm. Project for over summer, then: rig up the computer in the media suite (which is connected to some nice speakers and a projector) to some voice-recognition software and a decent microphone, then have it direct all queries that start with "Computer..." to Wolfram's site. Also have "on screen" mean "answer Skype" and you've pretty much covered every function except being able to fire missiles at things. Will have to work on that bit.Computer scientist, Stephen Wolfram, feels that he has put together at least the initial version of a computer that actually answers factual questions, a la Star Trek’s ship computers.
Won't it make idiots even more convinced they're right because the Internet told them so?
Great for "what is a cat?" type questions, though confusion of catalytic converters, felines and meercats is possible.
Rubbish for "what's the best way to do $foo?" because 90% of the time, the answer is something along the lines of "it depends".
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