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Qwiki + Wolfram|Alpha = Winner

Posted on Tuesday, January 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

If you read TechCrunch, then by now you must have heard about Qwiki. Qwiki answers questions by generating interesting infographics and combining them with Wikipedia articles on the topic. The storytelling and text-to-speech is really nicely done. At least it doesn’t sound as creepy as some of the other text-to-speech solutions out there.

So far Qwiki is really good at biographies and topics which have a Wikipedia article. But when it comes to assorted topics which do not have a Wikipedia article backing them, the results are less them optimal. Granted, there a few popular topics today which do not have a Wikipedia article. Qwiki is still in alpha testing, yet shows a lot of promise. The demo video showed an alarm clock tied to Wiki which wakes you up, gives you weather information and reads out you calendar to you. That is really cool. But the way I think they could get way cooler, is if they had Wolfram|Alpha results integrated.

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Wolfram|Alpha describes itself as a computational knowledge engine. It is good at getting facts and summarizes them down to the most important points you would want to know on any given topic. Of course, there are still topics which Wolfram|Alpha knows little about, but if Wolfram|Alpha can provide an answer, it does so very well. It even manages to parse phrases to deduce meaning from the input.

When all is said and done, Qwiki is off to a good start and I am excited to see where they go from here!

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