Admittedly, I haven’t watched any of the WolframAlpha demos. I could have no idea how it’s supposed to be used. Either way, I didn’t find it very helpful with the handful of questions that immediately sprang to mind.

I expect any new service to immediately show a unique characteristic. It doesn’t need to be fully baked. Just there.

`"Wolfram|Alpha isn't sure what to do with your input"`

probably shouldn’t be that.

There’s an “easy” way for me (and I suspect others) to be immediately hooked on a new ~~search~~ find engine, display new, valuable, and unexpected results in a simple vanity search.

Though, the biggest challenge WolframAlpha has isn’t whether or not it is “sure what to do with my input” – its that I keep wanting to call it WolframHart

Maybe I’m doing this wrong.

Have you had success getting answers from WolframAlpha?

UPDATE 18 May 2009

Yes, according to Marisa Taylor at WSJ Blogs, I’m searching all wrong. WolframAlpha is for equations, numbers, calculations, etc.

Things I imagine the computers of mathematicians, physicists might need regularly.

Then again, given how advanced our mathematics is – there must be an equation for finding my keys.

Dude, try the keys questions again! http://www30.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=where+are+my+keys%3F

It’s getting smarter! LOL

Well, it’s a computational knowledge engine. Try asking it computational knowledge questions… how large is the moon? How many smoots to a mile? What is the airspeed of an unlaiden swallow? How many people live in Minneapolis, MN?

Try those searches. They show way more info than just “the answer”. 🙂

It’s far from perfect but it is also bordering on the completely mind bogglingly awesome.