Last week we shared with you a highlight from Stephen Wolfram‘s keynote at the International Mathematica User Conference 2009. The highlight included a look at what’s in the research and development pipeline for Mathematica and future directions of Wolfram|Alpha.
In this final video of our series, Stephen shares how the developments of Wolfram|Alpha will be integrated with Mathematica. (For more of Stephen’s keynote, please see parts 1 and 2 on the Wolfram Blog and part 3, “Future Directions for Wolfram|Alpha,” here on the Wolfram|Alpha Blog.)
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There will be functions in future Mathematicas that allow the Wolfram|Alpha API to be called from within Mathematica. So huge amounts of data and specific algorithms available in Wolfram|Alpha will become available through functions in Mathematica.
Another very important direction is using the freeform linguistic capabilities developed in Wolfram|Alpha and making them available in Mathematica.
In Mathematica we have this very systematic language that allows us to systematically build things. In Wolfram|Alpha we have this thing that is very easy to get started with.
Can we merge these two to get the best of all worlds? We’re working hard towards doing that.
The basic concept is to be able to start off using freeform linguistics to specify what you want to do, and specify each piece of what you want to do and then get out systematic Mathematica code that you can assemble into a larger and larger system.
So: Wolfram|Alpha has definitely raised our visibility this year.
It’s a first in many ways for us.
It’s our first major spinoff company.
Our first really strong production web system.
Our first deeply consumer offering.
It’s turning into a great business… with a whole ecosystem developing around it.
But it’s also a great piece of outreach.
You know, our company has been very committed forever to all sorts of outreach.
Maybe it’s because we have a product called Mathematica… but I think we’re by far the most prominent math outreach company in the world.
With things like MathWorld.
With the work we do on the NUMB3RS TV show.
We also support in various ways what must be almost a complete set of math competitions, and math outreach.
As well as lots of our technical education initiatives and so on.
This year we’ll be starting a summer program for high-school students.
Of course, one of our prominent pieces of outreach is the Wolfram Demonstrations Project.
We’ve developed a sort of post-web-2.0 approach… for Demonstrations… for volunteers for Wolfram|Alpha.
There’s a lot going on.
I think we’ve developed some fantastic technology platforms.
We’re also continuing to develop our company.
We’re growing very rapidly—recruiting all sorts of outstanding people.
We’ve got a lot of opportunities right now.
Our sort of positioning in the world—not only in terms of technology but also corporate brand and access to very interesting opportunities—is really great.
We’ve been solidly building for 23 years…
Looking at our various metrics, I think we’re heading for a breakout year for our company.
Thanks for being with us here.
Thanks for sharing our journey.