Today internet seems like the most outstanding achievement of humans, but it is still far from perfect. Despite being around for more than 30 years and going over countless upgrades, more improvements are to be made. The new phase of web evolution plans the kind of internet that accurately interprets users’ input and understands what the users convey through different media such as text, image, video, voice, etc. The aim is to make the internet more autonomous, intelligent, and open. The inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, has called it Semantic Web, but many pioneers have already named it Web 3.0, implying that it will soon be an imminent upgrade to Web 2.0, the present-day internet.
Web 3.0’s general definition states that the upcoming 3rd generation of the internet will process information in a human-like way through various technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. The powerful combination of classic web tools, cutting-edge technologies, and human interconnection will ultimately result in a natural evolution of the internet.
Web 3.0 vs Web 2.0 vs Web 1.0
Web 1.0 (1989-2005) was the first and the most reliable internet of its time. Also known as Static Web, it only offered access to limited information. There was no social media and no way to post comments on articles. It didn’t have algorithms to go through internet pages, so finding relevant information was extremely difficult for the user. Most of the information on Web 1.0 was pretty much what was available in the directories, and only a select few created content for the web.
The next stage of evolution is Web 3.0 or Semantic Web, which will harness the power of AI to run innovative programs and assist humans more efficiently. According to Berners-Lee, the internet will automatically establish a connection between systems, humans, and devices. It means that the decision-making and content creation will involve humans and machines both. The internet would connect all the data understand contextually and conceptually of the user input. So, it might be possible for the internet to know the difference between different contexts in which user describes ‘cat’.
How Does the Future of the Internet Look?
Four key features of Web 3.0 can provide a better understanding. The first is Ubiquity, which was also in Web 2.0. It means that the internet can be everywhere at the same time. For example, the user can take a picture and upload it on social media, and it is instantly available to everyone on the internet. 3rd generation of the web improves on it and connects future smart devices to the same internet.
The second feature is the Semantic Web, which will follow semantics (the study of the relationship between words). Some sentences can have different syntaxes, but their semantics remain the same. For example, the phrases “I love you” and “I <3 U” mean the same thing, so the new internet should be able to understand such inputs from the user since semantics only care about the emotions behind the content. By applying semantics on the web, machines would be able to decode those emotions.
The third feature is Artificial Intelligence. Although Web 2.0 already exhibits similar abilities, it is still pretty much human-based. There is a large room for error and corruption due to the human domination of AI. For example, if a user wants to look for product reviews, there is no way to ensure they’re authentic. Any firm can pay a large group of people to sing their praises. Therefore, an AI must be capable of distinguishing fake from the real.
And, the fourth feature, which is probably the most advanced, is the 3D graphics on the web. Web 3.0 aims to bring 3D virtual worlds to many sectors other than gaming like e-commerce, health, and real-estate. It will provide an entirely new way of web immersion by merging the physical and digital realm of the user.
Besides providing a customized browsing experience and more competent search assistants, Web 3.0 will operate through decentralized protocols. The internet the world uses today has centralization and exploitation at its core.
The upgrade hopes to establish a more equitable internet where users don’t need permission from a central authority to upload something on the web. All the data will be interconnected and stored on the blockchain, a considerable step forward from current Web 2.0. Currently, data is stored in centralized repositories that are the only ones making big profits from it.
Cryptocurrency will play a massive role in Web 3.0 protocols. For starters, it can provide a financial incentive or token for other users who wish to create content, take a governing role, or participate in web projects and improve them themselves. The Web upgrade will make a fairer internet enabling users to be sovereign and control who profits from their time and data.
Web 3.0’s decentralized infrastructure is likely to dislodge centralized tech giants and allow users to own their data duly. Internet environment will become transparent and much safer than centralism, surveillance and exploitative ads in Web 2.0.