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Re: [ontolog-forum] [CG:] Wolfram Alpha is now available

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Christopher Spottiswoode" <cms@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 18 May 2009 15:20:33 +0200
Message-id: <58F4CEED47224A87AF9812549F272130@Kim>
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>    (01)

>That is the most frequent answer you get from it:
>> "Wolfram|Alpha isn't sure what to do with your input."
>That is why it is an alpha-level system.
>John    (02)

I'm afraid the problem cannot be solved along the standard
alpha-beta-production path.  In its very conception Wolfram|Alpha seems
unscalable:  do they really think they will be able to "curate" all the
world's computable knowledge?  Or direct all us other creators and
owners of knowledge into following their prescriptions?    (03)

On the other hand, Google also makes an analogous assumption, namely
that all the world's web pages can be handled by one system, their
system.  Wolfram is at least very up-front in basing his design on the
observation that the world's computable knowledge is limited.    (04)

But then again I'm afraid that his notion of "computational
irreducibility", which he explicitly (in his NKS anniversary blog of May
14) sees behind that limited scale of systematized knowledge, is a far
remove from it, so perhaps it is that gap that lies at the heart of that
unscalability?    (05)

Christopher    (06)

P.S.  How The Mainstream Architecture for Common Knowledge accommodates
that very same charge is a wonderful subject for another time...    (07)

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