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May 3, 2009

Google may have missed it...

If you believe the hype, and as there isn't much of it I tend to, then the next step in the evolution of the internet, the next iteration of the worlds newest layer of infrastructure is about to be released this week.

Wolfram Alpha is a Harvard invention, which will give precise, well researched and referenced, answers to any question you post it.

Tom Simpson, of the blog, said: "What are the wider implications exactly? A new paradigm for using computers and the web? Probably. Emerging artificial intelligence and a step towards a self-organising internet? Possibly... I think this could be big."

Wolfram Alpha will not only give a straight answer to questions such as "how high is Mount Everest?", but it will also produce a neat page of related information – all properly sourced – such as geographical location and nearby towns, and other mountains, complete with graphs and charts.

The real innovation, however, is in its ability to work things out "on the fly", according to its British inventor, Dr Stephen Wolfram. If you ask it to compare the height of Mount Everest to the length of the Golden Gate Bridge, it will tell you. Or ask what the weather was like in London on the day John F Kennedy was assassinated, it will cross-check and provide the answer.

 I found this article here , and it shows even more how the next step forward often comes from the place that you least expect it.