iPhone 5 To Usher In The New Paradigm Of Search?

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[Artwork by C. LaRochelle]

NEW YORK TIMES: Among Apple’s other high-profile acquisitions was April 2010’s buyout of Siri, a personal mobile assistant that was spun out of SRI International, and whose core technology came from a DARPA-funded artificial intelligence project called CALO. Siri was transformed into an iPhone application that could listen to questions either spoken aloud or typed in and then provide answers. At first, the focus was on the sort of  out-and-about questions you may have, e.g. When does that movie show? What Chinese restaurants are nearby? Can I get a table at my favorite Italian place? What’s the phone number for a taxi company?Only a few months post-acquisition, the app was updated to integrate results provided by the computational knowledge engine, Wolfram Alpha. For those unaware, Wolfram Alpha is a new sort of search technology which can provide factual answers to questions, as opposed to a list of search results. It currently consists of 10 trillion-plus pieces of curated, objective data from primary sources, and it can perform calculations on the fly – over 50,000 types of algorithms and equations are now possible. MORE

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