Google It pp 267-299 | Cite as

Wolfram|Alpha: A Computational Knowledge “Search” Engine

  • John B. Cassel


Wolfram|Alpha (W|A) is a search engine in some senses, but not in others. People do use W|A to search for responses to their questions. Additionally, W|A often runs queries, or searches, through its databases. However, what W|A does not search for information containing words that match or are similar to a provided phrase. Instead, Wolfram|Alpha makes new contact with the history of librarianship, using the curation work of library professionals and domain experts to map words into functions describing the query, attempting to encode the question’s intent.


Question Answering Unstructured Data Library School Wolfram Research Blood Alcohol Content 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


To understand the role of disruptive innovation plays in business competition, consider reading Clayton Christensen’s original books on the concept:

  1. 1.
    Christensen, C. M. (1997). The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail. Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Christensen, C. M. and Raynor, M. E. (2003). The Innovator’s Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth Businesses. Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA.Google Scholar

To understand the sociological forces that organization formation imposes on information technology practice, consider reading this classic paper by Wanda Orlikowsky:

  1. 3.
    Orlikowski, W. (1992). The duality of technology: Rethinking the concept of structure in organizations. Organization Science, 3(3):398–427.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.AgribleChampaignUSA

Personalised recommendations