Among the many new things that greeted us recently, Wolfram|Alpha is perhaps one of the most controversial. This was due to the fact that it was embarking on an unfamiliar territory on the web. Ok, I admit when I first heard about Wolfram|Alpha, I tried to understand what it is and what it really does. Unfortunately, until now, my understanding of Wolfram Alpha is as vague as it was when it was released.
The good news is, there seems to be a lot of things going on for the past three months. In a long post by Wolfram Alpha Founder Stephen Wolfram, he narrates that:
It’s been a great first summer for Wolfram|Alpha. It was a mad dash to launch Wolfram|Alpha when we did. But we’ve actually built up over the summer to even greater development intensity, though now with a progressively larger team and increasingly streamlined development systems.
So, here are some of the developments on Wolfram|Alpha the past three months:
- reduced “fall-through rate” of queries not understood by Wolfram|Alpha by 10% – this means that Wolfram Alpha was able to deliver 90% of the results for all queries it received?
- one code update per week
- more talented programmers worldwide have joined the Wolfram Alpha Team
- over 2 million lines of Mathematica code were added, leading to 52% growth overall
- 50,000 manual groups of changes were made on their data repositories
- 10% to 15% growth in knowledge domains
- The Wolfram|Alpha Team received 54,233 bug reports, 31,006 are now fixed and ready for implementation
All these plus “zillions of little changes and fixes” were keeping the Wolfram|Alpha team busy the past three months. And Stephen Wolfram hopes that all these bugs and fixes will lead to the largest coherent repository of human knowledge ever known to man.