An improvised dialogue on Wolfram|Alpha

[18:01] fakalin: hey
[18:01] fakalin: did you try wolfram alpha
[18:02] me: waht
[18:02] fakalin: what
[18:02] fakalin: jeez you’re out of touch
[18:02] fakalin:

[18:04] me: what is this
[18:04] me: i don’t get it
[18:04] fakalin: what’s it like living under a rock
[18:04] fakalin: ask it something
[18:04] fakalin: anything
[18:04] me: it’s down
[18:04] fakalin: oh
[18:04] fakalin: lol
[18:04] fakalin: read up on it
[18:06] me: but what’s the idea, these are all pre computed?
[18:06] fakalin: here it comes
[18:06] fakalin: HERE IT COMES
[18:06] fakalin:
[18:08] me: hmm
[18:08] me: but what does this have to do with the web
[18:09] fakalin: um
[18:09] me: except that the users are “on the web”
[18:09] fakalin: the fact that you can use it using this thing called a ‘web browser’
[18:09] me: that’s weak
[18:09] me: i’m asking this because it is compared to google
[18:09] fakalin: it’s useful for some things i guess
[18:10] me: that’s a weak statement
[18:10] fakalin: you’re weak
[18:10] me: in fact it can’t get waker
[18:10] me: weaker
[18:12] me: “Alpha does not answer natural language queries — you have to ask questions in a particular syntax, or various forms of abbreviated notation.”
[18:12] me: ok
[18:13] me: “and it computes answers, it doesn’t merely look them up in a big database.”
[18:13] me: i don’t see a clear distinction
[18:13] me: even SQL can compute
[18:13] fakalin: it’s basically a bunch of expert systems
[18:13] fakalin: lol
[18:13] fakalin: so your argument is ‘even sql can do stuff’
[18:14] me: i’m quoting an article
[18:15] me: not impressed
[18:15] fakalin: yawn
[18:15] me: wolfman is overreaching
[18:15] me: again
[18:15] me: “Stephen showed me many interesting examples — for example, Wolfram Alpha was able to solve novel numeric sequencing problems, calculus problems, and could answer questions about the human genome too.”
[18:16] me: this sounds like mathematica
[18:16] fakalin: no shit sherlock
[18:16] me: but then
[18:16] fakalin: it’s like mathematica on the web with some added modules
[18:16] me: “It was also able to compute answers to questions about many other kinds of topics (cooking, people, economics, etc.). ”
[18:16] me: see, this is too vague\
[18:16] fakalin: you’re too vague
[18:16] me: i guess i’ll have to wait for it to resurrect
[18:16] me: and try myself
[18:16] fakalin: keep trying
[18:16] fakalin: it just came out yesterday
[18:16] fakalin: sometimes it works
[18:17] me: haha
[18:18] me: i’d like to see ONE example where something non trivial in a non-scientific field is “computed”
[18:21] me: ok
[18:22] me: anagrams
[18:22] me: that’s one example i guess
[18:22] fakalin: lol what
[18:22] me: and maybe decoding stuff
[18:22] fakalin: what are you blathering about
[18:22] me: an example of computing a non scientific topic
[18:22] fakalin: who cares about that
[18:22] fakalin: you and your straw men
[18:22] me: lol
[18:22] fakalin: unit conversions nigga
[18:23] me: that’s mat
[18:23] me: math
[18:23] fakalin: lol
[18:23] fakalin: news flash
[18:23] fakalin: computers can do math
[18:23] me: dude, i know that
[18:23] me: that’s mathematica
[18:23] me: i’m trying to figure out how this wolframalpha is new
[18:23] fakalin: simple
[18:23] me: the thing is, if you know the word “anagram”, you can find an anagramming tool
[18:23] fakalin: find a website on the internet like it
[18:24] me: sure, it’s more convenient
[18:24] me: but it’s not a one stop shop
[18:24] me: which google is
[18:24] me: like i said, you can find an “anagramming” tool
[18:24] me: if you want to do anagrams
[18:24] me: same with just about any other “tagged” computation type
[18:25] me: it’d be more interesting if wolfram alpha computes things for which tools haven’t been built ….
[18:25] me: this is a bit problematic
[18:26] me: see, google can work because everybody writes in some language it indexes
[18:26] me: however, on the web, people do not write computational tools solely in mathematica
[18:26] me: if they did, then wolfram alpha can just glom onto all of those
[18:26] me: but as is, they only have wolfram researchers to write stuff
[18:30] fakalin: lol
[18:30] me: you see my point though, right?
[18:31] fakalin: that wolfram alpha just packages things together and offers nothing new?
[18:31] fakalin: could say the same about google
[18:31] fakalin: you just like shitting on new things
[18:31] fakalin: communist hates change
[18:32] me: i’m saying wolfram alpha is like yahoo
[18:32] me: unlike google
[18:33] fakalin: except yahoo sux
[18:33] fakalin: lolzz
[18:33] me: my point is, they depend on experts

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