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Re: [ontolog-forum] Wolfram Alpha preview

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 06 May 2009 11:16:47 -0400
Message-id: <4A01A9DF.1080406@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Randall,    (01)

 From what I have heard and read and reasonable inferences therefrom,
I would assume the following answers to your questions:    (02)

> Is my intuition just off, or will Alpha's functions require a lot more 
> computation per question answered than a conventional Web search?    (03)

After the info has been retrieved, Alpha would certainly do much
more computation than Google or Yahoo.  But since Alpha has less
data to search and it's more highly organized (in database formats),
it might take less computation to retrieve.    (04)

> Perhaps more easily answered, what magnitude of hardware outlay is 
> required to serve a given volume of Alpha queries vs. ordinary Web 
> searches?    (05)

Since they have less data than Google, they would have much less
hardware.  I'm sure that they don't have server farms of anything
approaching the magnitude of Google's.    (06)

> Lastly, should we expect "free" access to Alpha or will it be a 
> subscription service like, say, LexisNexis?    (07)

Wolfram said (or implied) that Alpha would be free.  I don't know
what their business model is, but I would assume that they could
get ROI from several sources:    (08)

  1. Advertising (along the same lines as Google),    (09)

  2. Increased sales of Mathematica and consulting by their employees,    (010)

  3. Licensing the Alpha technology and knowledge bases for use in
     private applications by commercial companies,    (011)

  4. Future bright ideas that might be invented along the way.    (012)

But those are questions that you should ask Stephen W.    (013)

John    (014)

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