There I was going through a magazine. As I was flipping the pages, a complex looking image caught my eye. Underneath it was written:
The much anticipated computing engine Wolfram Alpha will be officially launched on 18 May.
Suddenly, it struck to me, ya its this new search engine they are talking about in the Internet. Hmm. Getting all excited I started googling it. Soon I was buried into reading blogs and reviews from the people. After an hour, I found out that its barely anything like Google, its not even a search engine.
So what is it? They were calling it a computational knowledge. Wait a minute, how do you compute a knowledge. Knowledge is the facts and figures, and logical understanding of this universe and society that we have earned. How can it be calculated? There were few facts I found interesting:
1. Wolfram does not have database of web pages like Google does.
2. Wolfram neither has the resources of knowledge like Wikipedia has.
So, on what basic does it calculate the knowledge. The answer was, the backbone of WolframAlpha - Mathematica and NKS (New Kind of Science). Well I have not used Mathematica but have been knowing about its existence since my engineering days. I was more familiar with the MATLAB instead. After seeing through couple of demos and more article. I somehow seemed to have grasped the idea of Computational Knowledge.
You see Mathematica is a huge resource of mathematical functions and thousands of models of our natural science. It has a tremendous implication in all fields of engineering and financial problem solving. So it seemed very natural that such resources could be used to calculate the factual knowledge.
There was one example given in the article:
When you ask the distance between the moon and the earth, traditionally the answer would be searched from the vast resources of text people have put into the web. But here, it does nothing of such thing, instead it seems to have a mathematical equation which calculates the distance between the moon and earth and gives it to you. That sounds super cool. So all kinds of factual knowledge can be calculated. That is what I seem to have grasped of the new WolframAlpha.
So instead of showing you the way to the answer, it gives you one. But only certain kinds of question is allowed. As I was making my understanding clear on this new buzz. I started getting goosebumps... Wait.. and it was not a fear but more of an excitement. I think I can tell what is it or share.
Suddenly I realised that computation knowledge is something that InRev is also working on. Since the start of our company, we have been working in a way of bringing factual information to the people rather than a huge bulk of data. We want to answer people's question and let them make efficient decision. To clarify, the whole propose of F-Cube (our economic reporting portal) is to forecast the economic scenario to people in free. The only way to forecast is to compute what we know with the mathematical model of economy. That is computational knowledge, I grinned to myself. We also are working on creating a library of models to fit into the system.
The philosophy seemed quite similar, add value to the data by providing relevant information. This is why I got to excited. Hope I was able to explain what computation knowledge is. Please provide your comments. I have to be sure of it :).