Siri now serves 25% of Wolfram Alpha's traffic, could it threaten Google?
The Apple effect is well known in Asian countries where massive amounts of workers and factories could get hired virtually overnight to fulfil an order, but now almost the same effect has hit Wolfram Alpha. The knowledge engine that offers not simply search results, but aims to put them into context, now has 25% of its traffic coming from Siri queries.
Apple’s humble intelligent voice assistants is smart partly exactly because of Wolfram Alpha that will do funky things like calculate the distance to the moon as well as solve and graph mathematical problems.
“Siri accounts for about a quarter of the queries fielded by Wolfram Alpha, whose staff has grown to 200,” a New York Times report said.
Should Google be worried? Even with the huge start of the iPhone 4S, it will still take quite a while for Google to feel threatened by Wolfram Alpha. In addition, the two don’t directly compete each other - Wolfram Alpha clearly differentiaties itself by being a “knowledge” engine, not a search engine.
But that doesn’t mean that the two don’t overlap at all - actually quite often they do. Wolfram Alpha has just launched a paid feature that will add even more sophisticated features and calculations to answer your queries. The knowledge engine only launched two and a half years ago in the summer of 2009, so it’s definitely moving fast.
Here’s scientist Stephen Wolfram, founder of the engine, explaining what was the thing that persuaded Jobs to integrate Wolfram Alpha with Siri:
“And just the day before Steve died came the announcement of the iPhone 4S, and Siri, which uses our Wolfram|Alpha knowledge engine. The timing was so tragic. But it was a quintessential Steve Jobs move. To realise that people just want direct access to knowledge on their phones, without all the extra steps that people would usually assume have to be there.”