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Using semantics—the meaning of words rather than just the words themselves—as the basis of Web search has been a prime goal of researchers for some time, but except for limited approaches, the idea has had trouble making it out of the lab. Now mathematician/computer scientistStephen Wolframthinks he has a better idea to improve search—though just what that is remains more than a bit obscure.
Wolfram is famous as the inventor ofMathematica, the multi-faceted program that made the computer a useful tool for serious mathematics, and slightly notorious as the author ofA New Kind of Science(NKS), a 1200-page tome that attempts to explain a vast array of natural phenomena in terms ofcellular automata, simple mathematical rules that can lead to complex behavior.
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