Amazon’s Alexa is now getting a Wolfram Alpha integration that will allow it to answer way more math and science questions. The feature is already available for some people, but you shouldn’t expect to see it right away.
Alexa typically sources its knowledge from sites like Wikipedia, Yelp, Accuweather, and Stats.com, but before this latest integration, it didn’t really have an answer for tough geography, history, or engineering inquiries. Now with Wolfram Alpha’s help, Alexa can field questions like how high do swans fly, how many sheets of paper will fit in a binder, and how fast is the wind blowing right now. Wolfram Alpha is a resource that schools sometimes use as a trusted source of information.
It should be noted that Apple’s rival smart assistant Siri, for all its other shortcomings, has had a Wolfram Alpha integration since the iPhone 4S’s launch in 2011, while the Google Assistant still doesn’t offer Wolfram, preferring to rely on its own search engine. Google’s lack of Wolfram Alpha means that it loses out on some of the math problems and puzzles the service can solve. In the end, it seems, the more sources of information a smart assistant can pull from, the better.