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The Wolfram|Alpha Team

The Story of the Making of Wolfram|Alpha

May 13, 2010 —
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CNN recently ran the story “Can We Compute an Answer to Every Question?” highlighting Stephen Wolfram’s TED2010 talk. The story also featured an excerpt from Stephen’s “The Story of the Making of Wolfram|Alpha” presentation from the 50 Years of Public Computing at the University of Illinois conference, which was streamed lived here on the blog. As we move closer to Wolfram|Alpha’s first birthday, we thought you might enjoy hear the story of the making of Wolfram|Alpha from its creator, Stephen Wolfram.

In this video, Stephen is joined by Jean Buck, Wolfram|Alpha’s Director of Computable Data, and by Theodore Gray, Co-Founder of Wolfram Research.

Near the end of his talk, Stephen mentions that he’ll be attending the evening reception via an Anybots telepresence robot. Here is a snapshot of Stephen greeting guests at the reception.

Stephen Wolfram greets a reception guest via an Anybot telepresence robot

Photo by Peter Asaro

A transcript and images from Stephen’s talk are on his website.


Hi there!

I just have to say im very impressed with your progress!

What i would be very interrested in, and i don’t know if you have thought of this, you probably have. But anyways, i’m just curious if there is a way to somehow creat an equalizer or similar with the structure from “rule number 30”, and that way making it more visual for the human eye and mind to understand.

Keep up the GREAT work!
Good regards, Martin

Posted by dublife May 13, 2010 at 3:35 pm

A friend of mine did e-mail me the link to your website. Great job! I really like it and added a gadget on my start page.

Keep up the great work – I will tell everyone who can appreciate it!

Posted by SAPSecure May 13, 2010 at 6:09 pm

Hi Guys

you have been doing a great job. Things that we could not search earlier have become easily reachable thanks to you.

Next year this time i hope to see more on the following:
Manufacturing data of various products / country wise
Tracking of financial indice
researching scientific data
Business information.

Good luck with all your best efforts.

Posted by Jawahar K May 19, 2010 at 11:20 am

A very impressive accomplishment, Dr. Wolfram & team! You have brought us one step closer to AI, and made computational searching a reality for all of us. Wolfram Alpha has earned a spot in the sun, and on my bookmarks.

Posted by Doc Campbell May 19, 2010 at 6:04 pm

Just when I thought I had reached the end of the internet. Thanks to Dr. Wolfram and his team for making another vaulable contribution to society. I’ll share and use to no end.

Posted by Michael Fink June 10, 2010 at 9:44 am

I really enjoyed the Ted Talk, and I’m a long-time fan of your site. I watched the live broadcast of the day you flipped the switch to make it live. GREAT stuff.

One request. During Stephen’s Ted talk he showcased a few sample searches that the audience seemed to enjoy. Could you list those searches that he used? The video just isn’t clear enough to be able to read the screen, and I’d enjoy seeing them.

Posted by Jim Gates June 11, 2010 at 10:47 am