The Wolfram Alpha 'computational knowledge engine' – apparently able to provide the answer to any factual question – is set to launch next week, on May 18.

While some are claiming that the latest project from British computer scientist Stephen Wolfram (best known for creating the Mathematica computer language) is set to be a threat to the internet search giant Google. Others are dismissing such claims as so much gibberish, including Wolfram himself.

Google and Wolfram Alpha serve different purposes, Wolfram told The Telegraph, adding, "I am not keen on the hype... [although] I think Wolfram Alpha has the potential to be quite important."

Will not dethrone Google

Elsewhere, again in response to the reports that Wolfram Alpha is some kind of 'Google killer' SilverMind notes in a blog entry at Byte Size Biology after spending an hour or two with Wolfram Alpha:

"After playing around with Wolfram Alpha for a few hours, I can safely say the following: it's different, it's incomplete, it's idiosyncratic, and it's funky cool. And no, it will not dethrone Google, nor does it aim to do so."

For more on Wolfram Alpha head over to wolframalpha.com

Via The Telegraph and Slashdot