The new version of Wolfram Alpha arrives Wednesday afternoon. Its formal name is Wolfram Alpha Pro, and Dr. Wolfram calls “Step 2, the next step of what can be done with this approach,” which he describes as a “computational knowledge engine.” This is a premium version of the search engine: $4.99 a month, or $2.99 for students. . . .
This week is a beginning, Dr. Wolfram admitted. But, he added, “We’re starting to have the ability to understand data and images in the way we understand text queries.”
The text understanding of Wolfram Alpha has advanced steadily, with hundreds of subject domains added. They go well beyond the service’s origins, which built off the knowledge base in Mathematica, a popular math-formula software created by Dr. Wolfram. Serious math students, though, remain among Wolfram Alpha’s most avid users.
Unsurprisingly, Siri accounts for a quarter of Wolfram Alpha searches.