The computational knowledge technology behind Wolfram Alpha could soon be harnessed to power technological and scientific breakthroughs, according to the platform's founder.
Speaking at the South by Southwest conference in Texas, Stephen Wolfram said that the Wolfram Alpha technology would in the coming years be applied in a wide number of fields to help improve machine learning and automation.
Wolfram said that in the coming years the company would make its platform better-equipped to operate as a more "pre-emptive" system which will use its analytics capabilities to seek out and solve problems ahead of time, rather than after an event has occurred.
Wolfram said he saw big demand for a computational engine in the law enforcement and medical spaces. He said that the Wolfram Alpha platform, when combined with emerging fields such as cloning, could help dramatically increase lifespans and improve healthcare.
To help develop those new environments and applications, Wolfram said that the company plans to spin off a new firm which can be tasked with developing and maintaining customised in-house versions of the Wolfram Alpha platform for enterprises and organisations.
Additionally, Wolfram said that his company's work could help to change the way schools teach maths. He decried the current curricula taught to students as dated and in need of a dramatic overhaul to help students best-utilise computing platforms.
"In the modern world everyone should learn data science," he said.
"The current math curriculum was set up a century ago when the world was very different."
As to the Wolfram Alpha system itself, the company is looking to add new features to the service. Wolfram demonstrated a number of new applications for the technology, including new tools for analysing and organising images.
He said that the service itself is seeing a particularly high interest from researchers and students, an indication that Wolfram Alpha is being seen as more than a traditional search engine.
"People almost never want just one answer, they want a custom report built for them," Wolfram mused,
"It is nice to see how few of the queries are things you can just look for on the web."
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