Wonders of Wolfram- building a “Knowledge Engine”

TOK Questions:

Can a machine know? Can it be taught to feel?

What counts as knowledge?

What is the difference between “data”, “information”, and “knowledge”?

What are the effects of the digital age on knowledge (creation and sharing)?

Scene from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 Space Odyssey (written by Arthur C. Clarke). In this scene Dave the astronaut tries to deactivate the murderous and human-like computer HAL 9000.

***This video shows the first IBM computer to sing sang the same song as in the film.

The Turing Test

Scene from Bladerunner (Turing Test):

ARTICLE: The Trouble with the Turing Test

What is IBM’s Watson and how did it get here?

“We are trying to produce a deep questioning and answering machine which will change the way people interact with computers and machines”

(visit the Watson YouTube channel if you are interested)

What IS Wolfram Alpha? And what does it have to do with Apple’s “Siri“?

READ: “Latest Perspectives on the Computational Age” (also in our Diigo group)

*Choose a passage to include on your blog and write about

The “goal” on the website is to democratize knowledge, or “make all the world’s knowledge systematically computable and accessible”.

Let’s check out Stephan Wolfram’s TED talk about Wolfram Alpha.

Introducing CDF- Interactive Online Documents (“today’s online documents are like yesterday’s paper – flat, lifeless, inactive”) Here’s a VIDEO about authoring CDF apps.

…and here’s an example of using CDF to show the Orton Effect in Photography

How is Wolfram Alpha like a Matryoshka Doll? It’s in the nesting! http://blog.wolframalpha.com/2012/06/12/how-is-wolframalpha-like-a-matryoshka-doll/

Can a program be creative? musical? Let’s find out: http://blog.stephenwolfram.com/2011/06/music-mathematica-and-the-computational-universe/


First watch the INTRO

Access Wolfram Alpha HERE

Examples by Topic

10 Cool things to do with Wolfram/Siri

18 things you can do with Wolfram Alpha

Course Assistant Apps

Facebook Analytics (find out how to do it here) – after doing your own analytics, post some screen shots to your blog (optional) and reflect on the insight you gained from these analytics.


Check out the interesting lesson plans on the educators portal – what do you think?

1. _____Explore your EE topic using Wolfram Alpha- provide an example, post to blog

2. _____Do a frivolous comparison or other kind of search – post to blog.

3. _____Ask at least 2 “knowledge issue” questions related to this tool and the goals of the company (post to blog)

4. Be sure to follow Stephan and Conrad on Twitter- if you feel daring, ask them a relevant question (I heard from a friend of theirs Conrad will more likely answer). Let us know!

BLOG: http://blog.wolframalpha.com/

On Twitter:






Check out their blog: “Community Newsletter” for what is new

Here’s Conrad’s TEDx talk in Brussels “I Calculate, Therefore I Am” (he actually poses a lot of “Knoweldge Issue” questions in this, including “Is it Cheating to use W. A. in Math homework?”)

READ: Is Siri Really Apple’s Future

BLOG: What do  you think about this article? (post thoughts to blog). ***If you can find an amusing tweet, video or cartoon about Siri please include.


Period 6: http://storify.com/amyburvall/the-wonders-of-wolfram-per-6

Period 3: http://storify.com/amyburvall/wonders-of-wolfram-per-3


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