Skip to main content

Wolfram announces 'most important' project: a programming language that models the world

Wolfram announces 'most important' project: a programming language that models the world

Share this story

Stephen Wolfram at a conference earlier this year (NEXT Berlin / Flickr).

The power of Wolfram Alpha — the intelligent search engine that can answer natural language questions and solve complex math problems — is being built into an upcoming programming language that its founder, Stephen Wolfram, says will be incredibly easy to use. The language, Wolfram writes, is "a way to go from an idea to a fully deployed realization in an absurdly short time." It's called Wolfram Language, and it's an evolution of what's been used inside of his company Wolfram's popular Mathematica software for over 25 years now.

Complex functions are built right into Wolfram Language

Wolfram's intention is to build a language that includes simple ways to do regularly complex tasks, from image processing, to creating graphs, to understanding natural language. "It becomes trivial to write a program that makes use of the latest stock price, computes the next high tide, generates a street map, shows an image of a type of airplane, or a zillion other things," writes Wolfram. Wolfram says that it'll be a general-purpose language — like C++ or Java — that can be used to create a variety of different applications. Unlike most languages, however, it won't rely heavily on external libraries that augment its abilities, as so many functions will be built straight in. "So in a sense inside the Wolfram Language we have a whole computable model of the world," Wolfram writes.

Though Wolfram says that the language will be able to build standalone desktop apps, his company is also going to launch a Programming Cloud, which will allow developers to create and deploy apps over the web. The language will presumably be quite high level, and it's possible that Wolfram is hoping to take advantage of cloud computing to mitigate speed issues. "We intend to make [Wolfram Language] as widely accessible to everyone as possible," Wolfram writes. "The Wolfram Language is a wonderful first language to learn (and we've done some very successful experiments on this)."

Wolfram also says that the language will allow for a lot of advancements in Mathematica, including the launch of Mathematica Online, which can run entire sessions inside of a web browser. But outside of "coming soon," there's no exact timeframe yet for when the language will launch to the public. Wolfram promises more updates and descriptions of the project in the months to come, noting that this first announcement can't quite describe it in full. "So far I can see only the early stages of what this will lead to," he writes. "But already I can tell that what’s happening is our most important technology project yet."

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed 20 minutes ago Midjourneys

M
Twitter
Mary Beth Griggs20 minutes ago
NASA’s SLS rocket is secure as Hurricane Ian barrels towards Florida.

The rocket — and the Orion spacecraft on top — are now back inside the massive Vehicle Assembly Building. Facing menacing forecasts, NASA decided to roll it away from the launchpad yesterday.


A
External Link
Andrew J. HawkinsTwo hours ago
Harley-Davidson’s electric motorcycle brand is about to go public via SPAC

LiveWire has completed its merger with a blank-check company and will make its debut on the New York Stock Exchange today. Harley-Davison CEO Jochen Zeitz called it “a proud and exciting milestone for LiveWire towards its ambition to become the most desirable electric motorcycle brand in the world.” Hopefully it also manages to avoid the cash crunch of other EV SPACs, like Canoo, Arrival, Faraday Future, and Lordstown.


Asian America learns how to hit back

The desperate, confused, righteous campaign to stop Asian hate

Esther WangSep 26
A
The Verge
Andrew WebsterTwo hours ago
“There’s an endless array of drama going on surrounding Twitch right now.”

That’s Ryan Morrison, CEO of Evolved Talent Agency, which represents some of the biggest streamers around. And he’s right — as you can read in this investigation from my colleague Ash Parrish, who looked into just what’s going on with Amazon’s livestreaming service.


R
The Verge
Richard LawlerTwo hours ago
Green light.

NASA’s spacecraft crashed, and everyone is very happy about it.

Otherwise, Mitchell Clark is kicking off the day with a deeper look at Dish Network’s definitely-real 5G wireless service , and Walmart’s metaverse vision in Roblox is not looking good at all.


J
External Link
Jess Weatherbed11:49 AM UTC
Won’t anyone think of the billionaires?

Forbes reports that rising inflation and falling stock prices have collectively cost members of the Forbes 400 US rich list $500 billion in 2022 with tech tycoons suffering the biggest losses.

Jeff Bezos (worth $151 billion) lost $50 billion, Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin (worth a collective $182b) lost almost $60b, Mark Zuckerberg (worth $57.7b) lost $76.8b, and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey (worth $4.5b) lost $10.4b. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer (worth $83b) lost $13.5b while his ex-boss Bill Gates (worth $106b) lost $28b, albeit $20b of that via charity donations.


T
Thomas Ricker6:45 AM UTC
Check out this delightful DART Easter egg.

Just Google for “NASA DART.” You’re welcome.


R
Twitter
Richard Lawler12:00 AM UTC
A direct strike at 14,000 mph.

The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) scored a hit on the asteroid Dimorphos, but as Mary Beth Griggs explains, the real science work is just beginning.

Now planetary scientists will wait to see how the impact changed the asteroid’s orbit, and to download pictures from DART’s LICIACube satellite which had a front-row seat to the crash.


M
The Verge
We’re about an hour away from a space crash.

At 7:14PM ET, a NASA spacecraft is going to smash into an asteroid! Coverage of the collision — called the Double Asteroid Redirection Test — is now live.


E
Twitter
Emma RothSep 26
There’s a surprise in the sky tonight.

Jupiter will be about 367 million miles away from Earth this evening. While that may seem like a long way, it’s the closest it’s been to our home planet since 1963.

During this time, Jupiter will be visible to the naked eye (but binoculars can help). You can check where and when you can get a glimpse of the gas giant from this website.


E
Twitter
Emma RothSep 26
Missing classic Mario?

One fan, who goes by the name Metroid Mike 64 on Twitter, just built a full-on 2D Mario game inside Super Mario Maker 2 complete with 40 levels and eight worlds.

Looking at the gameplay shared on Twitter is enough to make me want to break out my SNES, or at least buy Super Mario Maker 2 so I can play this epic retro revamp.


R
External Link
Russell BrandomSep 26
The US might still force TikTok into a data security deal with Oracle.

The New York Times says the White House is still working on TikTok’s Trump-era data security deal, which has been in a weird limbo for nearly two years now. The terms are basically the same: Oracle plays babysitter but the app doesn’t get banned. Maybe it will happen now, though?


R
Youtube
Richard LawlerSep 26
Don’t miss this dive into Guillermo del Toro’s stop-motion Pinocchio flick.

Andrew Webster and Charles Pulliam-Moore covered Netflix’s Tudum reveals (yes, it’s going to keep using that brand name) over the weekend as the streamer showed off things that haven’t been canceled yet.

Beyond The Way of the Househusband season two news and timing information about two The Witcher projects, you should make time for this incredible behind-the-scenes video showing the process of making Pinocchio.