Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Google CADIE vs Wolfram Alpha

Google already has a tradition of April fool's jokes: this year they are introducing an Artificial Intelligence brain!

They describe the development process of their so called CADIE : Cognitive Autoheuristic Distributed-Intelligence Entity like this:

"For several years now a small research group has been working on some challenging problems in the areas of neural networking, natural language and autonomous problem-solving. Last fall this group achieved a significant breakthrough: a powerful new technique for solving reinforcement learning problems, resulting in the first functional global-scale neuro-evolutionary learning cluster."

Remember, this is an April fool's hoax. But now compare it with Wolfram's announcement of the new Wolfram Alpha:

"I wasn’t at all sure it was going to work. But I’m happy to say that with a mixture of many clever algorithms and heuristics, lots of linguistic discovery and linguistic curation, and what probably amount to some serious theoretical breakthroughs, we’re actually managing to make it work."

I find them quite similar! ;)

Now more seriously: I don't doubt Wolfram Alpha will have interesting features, but please don't try to sell it like the ultimate AI search engine. By the way, Daniel Tunkelang has a recent and well informed post on this topic.

Update: Indeed this sneak preview of Wolfram Alpha shows some cool features! In the meanwhile Google also gave some steps in the direction of better public data/statistics visualization.