Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Wolfram|Alpha's Computation as a Service

The idea of distributed computational computing isn't new, if anything it is one of the oldest concepts within computing. Recently there has been a renewed buzz within the world of computational computing with the release of Wolfram|Alpha. An on demand computational service with the goal of make all systematic knowledge immediately computable and accessible to everyone.

Wolfram|Alpha states their aim is to collect and curate all objective data; implement every known model, method, and algorithm; and make it possible to compute whatever can be computed about anything. More simply their goal is to build on the achievements of science and other systematizations of knowledge to provide a single source that can be relied on by everyone for definitive answers to factual queries.

Among their short-term plans are the release of a developer APIs for your very own computational mashups (Stock Market Analyst for Dummy's Anyone?), professional and corporate versions, custom versions for internal data, connections with other forms of content, and deployment on emerging mobile and other platforms. In short Wolfram|Alpha is attempting to build a computation as a service platform where any information is instantly and easily understandable by any human or device. This is going to be huge and possibilities that it enables are endless.

Although the current version of the site is admittedly somewhat limited, the future opportunities are certainly not. Imagine being able to instantly know the answer to any question at anytime, for free.

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