You might have never heard of an answer engine before, but a new product release from leading answer engine provider WolframAlpha could be about to make the search solutions a much more widely used option.
An answer engine is a tool used to answer specific queries, often mathematics or science based, and uses a large knowledge base to come up with factual solutions. This differs from traditional Google style search engines, which list web pages which have been matched to a search query by the appearance of a key word or phrase.
An example – search for your own name using WolframAlpha and instead of your Facebook page, or web results featuring your name, you will be presented with information on the number of people in the world with the same moniker, as well as the total number of people currently alive with your name and the most common age of these individuals.
In an announcement this week, WolframAlpha revealed a new fee paying service called WolframAlphaPro, which sees the firm move away from answers and focus on allowing users to analyse information on themselves and collate it into spreadsheets, documents, audio files or images.
WolframAlpha said that data in more than 60 different formats will be able to be analysed by WolframAlphaPro.
Currently, the data solution does not offer any options to publish or share these results, but the answer engine said that plans to make these options available are in the pipeline.
The new option has stayed true to the roots of the answer engine and this means that scientific and mathematical queries are still easily achieved using an extended keyboard featuring symbols and Greek characters.
Would you be interested in collating information about yourself in the way offered by WolframAlphaPro?