Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

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scratch123
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Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby scratch123 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:04 am UTC

Go to wolfram alpha and type in the name of you are someone you know. Make sure you know their age as well. One of the statistics wolfram alpha generates is the average age (along with a graph) and I have found that in many cases the average age is very close to the actual age of the person. It really shows you the power of statistics.

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Re: Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby Adacore » Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:14 am UTC

For most people I try, I just get a message that says:
Wolfram Alpha wrote:People

Development of this topic is under investigation...

For me, it only recognises my first name, and gives me statistics on 'Adam', for my best friend it only recognises her surname. One of my other friends it failed to interpret at all :|

EDIT: Hmm, maybe the OP meant to type in the first name only. That works, and gives my exact age (spooky).
EDIT2: Everyone else I try it gets wildly wrong, though.

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Re: Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby Menacing Spike » Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:17 am UTC

High school crush (Mathilde): Off by 77 years (wut).
Sister (Jeanne): Off by 43 years.

Power of statistics.

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Re: Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby Dthen » Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:19 am UTC

Tried a few names. The closest one was only off by 11 years.
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Re: Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby Adacore » Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:21 am UTC

This is curious - Clare apparently disappeared as a name in the '70s. Completely. Just in the '70s.

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Re: Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby bluebambue » Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:22 am UTC

It got my two brothers' completely wrong. They are 19, and that is right about the least likely time for that name.

I got nothing for my name spelled correctly. The Americanized version had the same result as my brothers.

My mom purposefully named me and my siblings unpopular names so we wouldn't share names with our classmates.

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Re: Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby Menacing Spike » Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:25 am UTC

Menacing Spike wrote:High school crush (Mathilde): Off by 77 years (wut).


I... what? We joked around her being older than me but... I didn't know, man, I didn't know...
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Re: Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby jawdisorder » Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:41 am UTC

It managed to get mine right. Not too surprising considering I was born during what was apparently the peak point of popularity for my name.

I found it kind of interesting that my name has a very similar history for males and females but the peak is offset by a year.

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Re: Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby TimelordSimone » Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:06 am UTC

Simon: 14 years out.
Nicholas: 9 years out.
Donna: 26 years out.
Gerard: 33 years out.
Kelvin: unit of measurement (29 years out).
Douglas: 32 years out.
Clint: 10 years out.
Anne: 1 year out! Woo!
Rachael: 19 years out.

Well. I'm impressed.
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Re: Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby ShootTheChicken » Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:27 am UTC

Hahaha, it doesn't recognize my name as a given name, but as a minor planet between Mars and Jupiter. Interesting...

My name is relatively popular in Germany I believe, so... that's kind of strange.
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Re: Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby TimelordSimone » Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:44 am UTC

ShootTheChicken wrote:Hahaha, it doesn't recognize my name as a given name, but as a minor planet between Mars and Jupiter. Interesting...

My name is relatively popular in Germany I believe, so... that's kind of strange.

So that's, what? 4.57 billion years out? Ish? :P
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Re: Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby Sandry » Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:17 am UTC

I am either a city or a grandmother.

When specifying that I am not a city, I turn into a teenager. *shudder*

My best friend from high school is also a grandmother.

One of my housemates is a decade older than she should be, the other a decade younger than she should be. Awkward house dynamic, that.

All my college roommates have gotten shuffled around by ten to thirty years, except for one who doesn't exist, and whom WA wants to be a metal helmet.

I dunno, I think the OP may have just had particularly time-specific named examples.
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Re: Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby Carnildo » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:04 am UTC

Tried it with various relatives; the average error was 22 years.

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Re: Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby Chuff » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:16 am UTC

Not too far off on me, 8 years, but I'm aware that my name was incredibly popular for that period. Second most popular in my birth year.
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Re: Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby Coin » Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:46 am UTC

Aw, it thinks I'm 11 :(
Apparently there has been a very large increase in people being called the same thing as me for the past two decades.
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Re: Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby Mousou » Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:50 am UTC

It seems that I am but a crater on mars (for my first name), and my second name is just a standard english word used extensively in the 1700's and then again after 1850 (but not in between Oo).

Oh well, I guess that's what I get for having a freakish Norwegian name...

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Re: Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby rara_bb » Wed Oct 26, 2011 7:56 am UTC

ShootTheChicken wrote:Hahaha, it doesn't recognize my name as a given name, but as a minor planet between Mars and Jupiter. Interesting...

My name is relatively popular in Germany I believe, so... that's kind of strange.



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Re: Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby Hope_ » Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:00 am UTC

Coin wrote:Aw, it thinks I'm 11 :(
Apparently there has been a very large increase in people being called the same thing as me for the past two decades.

Yeah same here. I'm only 11 *shudder* but the boyfriend is 59.. Well that's awkward.
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Re: Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby meridian » Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:15 pm UTC

I'm 8!
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Re: Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby scratch123 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:55 pm UTC

I guess the people I know have more predictable parents than some people in this topic. I wonder if there is a relationship between the intelligence of the parents and how close the names they pick follow statistical patterns. How do people decide what to name their kid anyway? The only method I know of is to name it according to someone they know like a relative. I am sure there is more to it than that though.

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Re: Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby ShootTheChicken » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:58 pm UTC

My parents went with:

1. German
2. Not anything from the family history
3. Uncommon (at least in Canada)

And that's how you end up as a minor planet.
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Re: Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby pizzazz » Wed Oct 26, 2011 5:05 pm UTC

I was only a year off, but my brother is only half the age he should be. My dad is pretty close (4 years). My mom has a double name, is right in the middle of the expected ages for those two names, which is kind of funny.

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Re: Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby Ulc » Wed Oct 26, 2011 5:34 pm UTC

I'm a financial entity!

And my little brother is 51 years old.. which is odd since I'm only 26 and I definitely remember being older, even more strangely my dad is only 51 as well, it's a little creepy though, that he got married to my mother about 23 years ago, and she's only 20!

I guess my point is twofold:

A) Most common age actually says jack fuck about any single individuals age
B) Following A, making claims that a search engine that tells you the most common age, actually guesses people's age with any kind of accuracy is, to be entirely frank, silly.
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Re: Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby Роберт » Wed Oct 26, 2011 5:42 pm UTC

Ulc wrote:B) Following A, making claims that a search engine that tells you the most common age, actually guesses people's age with any kind of accuracy is, to be entirely frank, silly.

But not surprising that someone did it. Odds are quite good that someone on the internet who tries it is going to find correct answers for most of their family, get wowed, and naively think it's because the method is remotely accurate.
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Re: Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby Aiea » Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:06 pm UTC

Oh dear, I'm apparently 42 and my husband is apparently 5... And my 2 year old son is apparently 60. Though that is a fair guestimate since that is also my father's name (who is 61) and my grandfather's name (who would have been 87 this year)

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Re: Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby TimelordSimone » Wed Oct 26, 2011 7:18 pm UTC

I think my parents just went with 'names they like'. (My brother, Nicholas, was born on Christmas Eve, but the name choice is completely unrelated to Saint Nick. They just liked it, and he happened to be a fortnight overdue.)
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Re: Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby jeorgun » Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:03 pm UTC

Apparently I am an award-winning science fiction book. It gives no other possible meanings for my name*. It has no definitions for my dad's name, though. Apparently turkish names don't work so well.
Of all the people I tried which it actually acknowledged as names, its estimates range from 11-70 years off.
I am not amazed.

*The book in question is around twice my age, FWIW.

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Re: Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby yurell » Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:27 pm UTC

My brother's age is off by a factor of seven ...
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Re: Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby Nath » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:59 pm UTC

Using closest Wolfram|Alpha interpretation: Nath
Assuming "Nath" is a financial entity | Use as a solar system feature or a deity instead

Input interpretation:
Nathan's Famous (NATH)

Latest trade:
$18.66(NATH | NASDAQ | 11:58:52 am PDT | 3 hrs 54 mins ago)

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Re: Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby Velict » Thu Oct 27, 2011 4:13 am UTC

The average age for my name is off by a little more than 30 years. Harrumph.

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Re: Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby Carnildo » Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:24 am UTC

Ulc wrote:A) Most common age actually says jack fuck about any single individuals age
B) Following A, making claims that a search engine that tells you the most common age, actually guesses people's age with any kind of accuracy is, to be entirely frank, silly.

It works quite well for names that have a brief surge of popularity. For names like "John" that have been popular for centuries, it's rather less effective.

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Re: Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby Dthen » Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:11 am UTC

I think we can conclude that it's not amazing how well Wolfram Alpha can predict your age.
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Re: Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Sat Oct 29, 2011 5:44 am UTC

It says that I am exactly ten years older. My name dropped off completely six years ago. WHAT IS MY FIRST NAME?

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Re: Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby aldonius » Sat Oct 29, 2011 1:20 pm UTC

Right in the peak! Bang on.
Almost everyone else I know and tested? Not even close.

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Re: Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby Xerillum » Sat Oct 29, 2011 9:57 pm UTC

My name (Tom) was off by about 30 years. The fraction dropped off almost completely after about the early 60s, which is weird, because it seems like it would be a commoner name. Another thing I noticed was a large drop almost exactly during the baby boom.

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Re: Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby Cathy » Sun Oct 30, 2011 6:43 am UTC

Hahaha look, I'm 55. Not! Katie's much closer to the mark -- most Catherines I knew were nicknamed to Katie.

But, yeah, the only people I ever met with my name as a kid were 40-60 so 55 makes sense.
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Re: Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby Isaac Hill » Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:24 am UTC

My real first name produces 39 years, while my real age is 33 years, which isn't very good. However, my forum first name produces 4 years, and I joined the forum in 2007, which is accurate. It says my mom is more than 20 years older than she really is, and has my dad as a couple years younger. The closest I got (using real names) was a friend who turned 27 this month, and was listed as 26. I guess the power of statistics is that if you let a computer guess people's ages based on their name, it will eventually get some right.
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Re: Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby caisara » Sun Oct 30, 2011 12:07 pm UTC

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Last edited by caisara on Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:09 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby charolastra » Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:31 pm UTC

Allison is 6 years younger (which is surprising - I thought it's popularity peaked in the 80s). Allie is only 5 years old (lulz). My middle name is 83 years old.

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Re: Its amazing how well wolfram alpha can predict your age

Postby Arancaytar » Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:23 am UTC

My surname is not recognized, and my first name interpreted as a surname. No age statistics appear for either.
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