There’s going to be a hell of a lot of buzz about this “next big thing” in search… the demo is extremely impressive. It’s due to launch soon, and well worth checking out.
I think its particularly interesting in light of a thought I’ve been having for a while – in that the next ‘literacy’ challenge we have (basic literacy, numeracy, computer literacy)… what I guess we could broadly call data literacy. Most of us, including me, aren’t data literate. I couldn’t write a script that took data from one source and manipulated it into/onto another – beyond basic mashup toys and Spreadsheet jiggery pokery. Why is this useful? For any number of reasons – maybe we want to plot all the beerintheevening pubs with pool tables on a Google Map, or maybe we want to analyse the number of #tag mentions of a specific topic happen on Twitter in any given day/week and plot it on a graph… you’d need to be pretty handy with computers to manage that. Well, by my standards…
What’s really cool about Wolfram Alpha is that its a tool for the rest of us. Its apparent ‘intelligence’ takes that data and runs clever routines on them to deliver the information to us in helpful terms.
Have a look. Let me know what you think.