Analytics engine will read your mind

Computation knowledge engine will soon be able to read your mind:

COMPUTATION KNOWLEDGE ENGINE

COMPUTATION KNOWLEDGE ENGINE

Wolfram Alpha will soon be able to read your mind, its creator Stephen Wolfram said at the South By Southwest (SXSW) conference in Austin today.

Speaking at the US technology conference on Monday, Wolfram predicted that his analytics engine will soon work pre-emptively, meaning it will be able to predict what its users are looking for.

“Wolfram Alpha will be able to predict what users are looking for,” Wolfram said. “Imagine that combined with augmented reality.”

Speaking during a talk on the future of computation, Stephen Wolfram – the creator of Wolfram Alpha and the mastermind behind Apple’s Siri personal assistant – also showed off the engine’s new ability to analyse images.

Wolfram said, “We’re now able to bring in uploaded material, and use our algorithm to analyse it. For example, we can take a picture, ask Wolfram Alpha and it will try and tell us things about it.

“We can compute all sorts of things about this picture – and ask Wolfram Alpha to do a specific computation if need be.”

That’s not the only new feature of Wolfram Alpha, as it can also now analyse data from uploaded spreadsheet documents.

“We can also do things like uploading a spreadsheet and asking Wolfram [Alpha] to analyse specific data from it,” Wolfram said.

He added, “This is an exciting time for me, because a whole lot of things I’ve been working on for 30 years have begun converging in a nice way.”

This upload feature will be available as part of Wolfram Alpha Pro, a paid-for feature where Wolfram hopes the analytical engine will make most of its money. Wolfram Alpha Pro costs $4.99 per month, or $2.99 if you’re a student.

Wolfram also showed off Wolfram Alpha’s ability to analyse data from Facebook, a feature that was announced last August.

Google’s Semantic Search Technology

Google plans major overhaul to search engine:

Search-Google

Search-Google

Google is giving its tried-and-true web-search formula a makeover as it tries to fix the shortcomings of today’s technology and maintain its dominant market share.  Over the next few months, Google’s search engine will begin spitting out more than a list of blue web links. It will also present more facts and direct answers to queries at the top of the search-results page.  The changes to search are among the biggest in the company’s history and could affect millions of websites that rely on Google’s current page-ranking results. At the same time, they could give Google more ways to serve up advertisements.  Google isn’t replacing its current keyword-search system, which determines the importance of a website based on the words it contains, how often other sites link to it, and dozens of other measures. Rather, the company is aiming to provide more relevant results by incorporating technology called “semantic search,” which refers to the process of understanding the actual meaning of words.  Amit Singhal, a top Google search executive, said in a recent interview that the search engine will better match search queries with a database containing hundreds of millions of “entities” — people, places and things — which the company has quietly amassed in the past two years. Semantic search can help associate different words with one another, such as a company (Google) with its founders (Larry Page and Sergey Brin).  Google search will look more like “how humans understand the world,” Singhal said, noting that for many searches today, “we cross our fingers and hope there’s a web page out there with the answer.” Some major changes will show up in the coming months, people familiar with the initiative said, but Singhal said Google is undergoing a years-long process to enter the “next generation of search.”  Under the shift, people who search for “Lake Tahoe” will see key “attributes” that the search engine knows about the lake, such as its location, altitude, average temperature or salt content. In contrast, those who search for “Lake Tahoe” today would get only links to the lake’s visitor bureau website, its dedicated page on Wikipedia.com, and a link to a relevant map.  For a more complex question such as, “What are the 10 largest lakes in California?” Google might provide the answer instead of just links to other sites.  The coming shift has major implications for Google, which dominates the Internet search market with around 66 percent market share and more than 75 percent of all search-ad revenue. The Mountain View, Calif., companies has succeeded because of the strength and ease of its keyword-search technology, which in turn fueled Google’s search ads, which appear next to search results. That business now generates the majority of Google’s $37 billion in annual revenue.  Now Google is taking action to maintain that lead. The Internet giant is trying to stay ahead of Microsoft‘s Bing in web search, catch up to Apple‘s Siri voice-activated mobile search, and beat back rivals in niches such as product search.