Over the years, the web has undergone different transformations to improve user experience. The first iteration of the internet was Web 1.0, where predominantly few people could produce content as the majority consumed.
Several years later, the need for a more interactive platform, where users could create content brought about Web 2.0. Today, thanks to Web 2.0, anyone can publish content, post comments, and access apps, albeit under the close supervision of these certain companies.
Web 3.0 seeks to correct this centralization. Below is a rundown of what Web 3 is, its application today and concerns over its use.
Web 3.0 Defined
Web 3, or the Semantic Web, if you prefer, is an improved version of Web 1.0 and 2.0. The system believes in the concept of decentralization and openness so much that it aims to bring humans and machines together.
Tim Berners Lee, the brains behind the World Wide Web, predicted a more autonomous and opened Internet in the early 1990s and dubbed it the Semantic Web. However, since technological innovation was limited then, he could only create lesser versions with more limitations.
Web 3 has superseded all the Semantic Web expectations detailed by Tim Berners Lee in 2001. Its format can be understood by computers and humans alike.
Basically, humans and machines collaborate in decision making and content creation plus unite efforts in solving problems that require intensive creativity. Since data is structured in Web 3, and stored in bulk, research only takes a few minutes. This way, you’ll only need shallow research to get all the answers you need on Google or popular search engines
But the features that set Web 3 apart from its predecessors include decentralization, artificial intelligence and machine learning and connectivity and ubiquity.
One of the main features of Web 3.0 is a decentralized system. Instead of information being stored at a specific location on the web, which is common in 1.0 and 2.0 versions, the information goes to multiple sources on the network.
This is similar to how blockchain works with cryptocurrencies and other digital transactions such as tokenization. In the end, information will remain in a wide range of sources on the web instead of with giants like Google and Facebook in Web 2.0.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a core component of Web 3 since the machine influences how we interact with data on the web. One advantage of AI is that it can store data in bulk and make it easily accessible to humans upon request. Furthermore, it can filter this information so that each piece of content remains relevant to you based on previous searches.
Finally, through machine learning, AI can learn to do new things and perfect the current ones for better accuracy.
Ubiquity, the ability to be present everywhere, is a feature that makes this Web version special. Unlike 1.0 and 2.0, which are only accessible through smartphones and computers, Web 3 is compatible with almost all smart devices.
Examples of Web 3
Web 3 is no longer an idea and for the past few years has been revolutionizing how we interact with the internet. While these applications have flaws and could greatly improve in the future, they’re far better than previous versions. They include Siri and Wolfram Alpha.
Siri technology, by Apple, paints a real picture of Web 3.0 in action. Since the AI’s first debut through the iPhone 4S model, it has adapted to perform not only complex but personalized demands as well.
Siri uses speech recognition software to take in demands and execute functions with as little time as possible and with few complications. For example, Siri can execute voice functions such as “Find me the nearest pizza joint or the nearest gas station.”
Wolfram is a specialized search tool that gives you more accurate results than Google, and it truly reflects what Web 3 is all about. The engine computes specific answers for your questions instead of giving a string of search results to pick from, like Google.
For example, a random search of Spain vs. Portugal on Google gives results about football, whereas on Wolfram it’s the history of the two countries in detail.
Web 3 will change almost every sector for the better. Its permission-less system allows users better control of their information, and the details are in multiple networks as opposed to one centralized system.
However, with this freedom come a few challenges that Web 3 is yet to address. One of the main concerns is cybercrime and misinformation. Since data is in a decentralized system, it can be hard to protect it and regulate it as we do now Web 2.0.
The next problem is that countries won’t be able to regulate the content their citizens view because websites are shared globally. Other than these, Web 3 has little to no other concerns.
At its core, Web 3 is about returning data ownership to consumers and content creators.
Web 3.0 delivers an opportunity to fundamentally change our view of the internet, strongly emphasizing consumer privacy – a hot topic of discussion. Like all new and emerging technologies, we are likely to see this evolve over time before mass adoption, and the court of public opinion has not decided if Web 3 will solve our privacy concerns.
Digital strategist and search engine expert Dale Shadbegian is CEO of Cape & Plymouth Business Media. He can be reached at email@example.com