Wolfram Research nearly had a deal to use its tech in Google search, “but it blew up”

Wolfram Research nearly had a deal to use its tech in Google search, “but it blew up”

Stephen Wolfram, the CEO of Wolfram Research, took to the stage at The Next Web Conference Europe 2013 today to discuss the ‘Computational Future’. Afterwards, he met up with TNW’s Paul Sawers to discuss automated medical diagnosis, the incredible potential of natural language processing and more.

At the end of the interview, he shared an interesting nugget. Wolfram says that his company was in talks to bring its computational search technology (as seen in Wolfram Alpha) to Google. Wolfram Research signed a deal with Microsoft in 2009 to bring the power of computational search to Bing.

Although he doesn’t say when, Wolfram says that his company got close to a deal with Google, but that “it blew up.” Would Wolfram work with Google in the future? He says that the way that the previous negotiations with Google broke down mean that the people he works with don’t want to deal with Google again, although Wolfram himself says he remains “a positive, optimistic guy” about such a deal happening in the future.

It’s an interesting situation, given that Google co-founder Sergey Brin was an intern at Wolfram Research back in 1993. Google itself has been working on computational search for several years. Indeed, the experimental Google Squared was launched in 2009 but shut down two years later, although as the Wall Street Journal reported last year, Google has continued to work on ways of bringing smarter, computational results to its search engine.

You can watch the interview below. You’ll be able to see his keynote on The Next Web in the coming days, along with all the other great talks from the conference.

Catch up with all our coverage from The Next Web Conference Europe 2013

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