12 Dec 2013

The Wolfram Language - trivialising programming languages

Wolfram Alpha is a search engine that offers up results based on calculations and general knowledge.  It can handle any complex mathematics that you throw at it and can give you a variety of answers when your query is ambiguous.  The programming behind it is impressive, and it's the evolution of that code that has led it's creator, British scientist Stephen Wolfram, to announce what he claims will be a new unified language of programming and computation in the form of the Wolfram Language.  

"A new level of computation"

His ambition is for this language to be integrated across all forms of computing so that the massive web of algorithms contained within may handle everything that humans require as output: " laying out graphs or doing image processing or creating user interfaces".

He aims to reduce the knowledge required for programming to simply being able to understand a native language.  By using natural expressions and syntax, the automation of tasks and creation of content would become trivial, and the entire world of programming would open up to anyone with access to a computer.

It's quite a bold claim that critics of his controversial book A New Kind of Science may be quick to denounce.  But if successful, it will change everything we do with computers and consequently our way of life.

You can read his entire announcement on their company blog.


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