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After the hype: Behind the Scenes of the Wolfram Alpha Search Engine

There was a lot of hype when the new search engine WolframAlpha was launched earlier this year.  An article in the current issue of Technology Review does a better job of explaining how it works and how it fits in with other search engines. It notes that the numeric information it uses is "curated" by Wolfram|Alpha employees -- by which they mean the data are selected and acquired, not just contributed as with sites like Swivel. It also explains the human element of ingesting the data and assigning meaning to values.  Worth a read:

- Jim Jacobs

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