Wolfram Logic Bugs
While Wolfram Alpha seems to have been endowed with both a sense of humor and self, there are some curious logic bugs. Try this, enter Name kim stacy terry jan frankie. WA shows the popularity of each name in the US census. It also asks whether you meant the male or female version of each name. This is very intelligent! It also says it assumes it is a list, and offers to do a multiplication instead???!!!! Clicking the multiplication link returns the standard “dont understand” message.
My favorite (so far) relates to two movies based on books. Enter Name tom jones . WA knows this is not just any two names. It assumes “tom jones” is a book (with a movie link option as well) then says it is a title, then the result is Data not available . Mmmm, let’s understand this a little better from the WA point of view, I assume it is a book, Yep, It’s a book title that I know, Nah, forget all that, too hard, no idea at all! It does find it as a movie though.
If we try another entry name color purple we get the same problem: no book data but normal movie data. We can guess what is causing it: there is a record of a movie of the book but no details on the book itself yet. Hopefully the book data will be “made available” soon….. However, if you just type in Color purple , you get information on the color purple, with a link to the book or the movie. Clicking on the book link then show full details of the book. Huh?
OK, let’s just try Tom Jones . Now we find out he is a singer, but we also have a link to a book or a film. Clicking on the book link tells us now that there is some limited data: the author is Henry Fielding.
As Alice in Wonderland said, “Curiouser and Curiouser”, I try Alice in Wonderland , and there are 5 movies, but no book!
Finally, I tell WA “Im not sure what to do with your output” to which it replies “WA is not sure what to do with your input”!
[UPDATE: By early July 09, Wolfram no longer wants to multiply names together and now knows that Alice in Wonderland is a book. The other issues remain....]