Stephen Wolfram, leader of the company behind Wolfram Alpha and Mathematica has just announced the immanent launch of Wolfram Language, an incredibly powerful interactive programming language with built in knowledge of the world (eg. it knows things like state capitols and English grammar) and a huge set of functions that allow people using the language to manipulate that data, bring new data into a program with just a command (eg. there’s a function that “scrapes” web sites and imports all the links on the site), and manipulate it symbolically so that it can be used throughout the programs they write. It looks pretty easy to learn, too. What all this really means is that non-techie types will have the ability to extract data from the internet, manipulate that data, use that data to make decisions, and then output the result of those decisions in a whole range of ways that include graphs, charts, geo-plots, 3D graphics, etc.. And because Wolfram language also comes with built-in “hooks” to talk to a wide variety of devices, you can even use it to trigger devices outside of your computer.
The video above (narrated by Wolfram himself) does a much better job explaining many of the language’s capabilities, but once you watch it (and if Wolfram Language lives up to what he promises), it may open up a huge flood of innovation and creativity from people who never thought they’d be able to use a programming language because so much of the stuff that takes lines and lines of code in other languages is reduced to a command or two in Wolfram Language. It should be pretty interesting to see what people do with this new tool!by