Saturday, May 30, 2009

what Alpha knows

Due to its large store of terms, W|A makes great attempts at disambiguation. Because of this certain queries will display multiple possible references.

One of the weaknesses of Alpha is opacity of the volume data behind it. Everyone (I guess) finds something they did not expect, then gets excited to look for something near by in their own mind. They type in the near by term, to find Alpha has gone stupid saying repeatedly: "W|A does not know what to do with your input".

There are 2 ways to find out more about "what Alpha knows"

One is the More dropdown button. In Wolfram's Overview video, he shows what happens when "Springfield" is entered and how the more button shows other Springfields.

Another example of the information behind is the Assumptions and suggestions. For example, "Springfield" can be used "as a phrase".

The query that really showed this to me is "cookie".

There are 5 separate other assumptions as well as more than 20 other things in the more boutton.

Each of these are other valid queries that result in info about what Alpha knows. Have at it!


Roger Williams
Franklin Laboratory

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