Improvements for Wolfram Alpha

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Several enhancements for 'computational knowledge engine'

Wolfram Alpha is receiving additional information covering a wider range of topics, it's been announced.

In a webcast, physicist and creator Stephen Wolfram said his team are working at filling the platform - which differentiates itself from traditional search engines such as Google, by processing factual answers rather than organising information that already exists - with a more extensive reach of data.

Critics have been sceptical about the search service since its launch last month. Currently, Wolfram Alpha appears to be limited to results that are based around science, maths and statistics.

For example, people can find out the distance between Manchester and London, the circumference of a two pence coin and the vital statistics of a cactus.

Wolfram said in the digital Q&A session that one of the most popular suggestions to improve the service is new sources of data.

Further additions to search

Also, in response to requests, Wolfram Alpha's operation will include software product information.

The Wolfram Alpha team is particularly interested in adding socio-economic data for different countries. At the moment, the engine has a greater range of US-related information compared to other countries.

A premium Wolfram Alpha service has been mooted too. This would include the ability to upload user data for analysis, download data to more formats and give users more time for complex number-crunching.