Let's face it: the Internet is changing rapidly. The next generation of the web is smart enough to understand the context of what users type, say, or post. The content is not only tailored to you, but it is also more accurate. People are calling it Web 3.0.
Of course, how this new phase of the web will look is still to be determined. But there are a few applications that give us a glimpse into its potential.
We can expect big changes in how we interact with the online world. Everything from the way we do business, to the way we learn, even the way we entertain ourselves will be transformed by this new era of the Internet.
But the question is, what exactly does Web 3.0 entail? What will it look like and how will it change our lives?
What Is Web 3.0?
In simple terms, Web 3.0 is a more grown-up version of Web 2.0, where data is stored in decentralized repositories instead of centralized ones. It's also where machines and humans can interact with data more easily.
With Web 3.0, websites and apps process information differently. They are able to do this through technologies like Big Data, Machine Learning (ML), and Decentralized Ledger Technology (DLT).
Web 3.0 is made possible by two key technologies: the Semantic Web and artificial intelligence (AI). The Semantic Web is a way of structuring data so that computers can understand it in the same way humans do. Allowing data to be linked together in a more meaningful way. AI, on the other hand, provides the ability for computers to learn and understand complex information.
With these two technologies in place, Web 3.0 promises to be an enhanced version of the Internet that is more intelligent, open, and interconnected.
Evolution of the Web 3.0 Technologies
Web 3.0 wouldn't exist without the innovations of its predecessors, Web 2.0 and Web 1.0. In fact, many of the technologies that power Web 3.0 have been around for years, but it's only now that they are coming into their own.
Web 1.0 (1989-2005)
Web 1.0, or the “Static Web,” was the first phase of the World Wide Web. It was a time when most websites were little more than digital billboards, with very little interaction or user-generated content. This means you couldn't comment on blog posts, or upload your own photos and videos.
The focus during this time was on building websites and making them available to as many people as possible. The goal was to disseminate information quickly and efficiently. Also, there were no algorithms to help you find what you were looking for, so search engines were not very effective.
Web 2.0 (2005-present)
User-generated content became the norm, with sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter leading the way. This was also the era of blogs and wikis. People were no longer just consuming content, they were also creating it.
The rise of social media meant that people were sharing more personal information online. This led to the development of new technologies like the Facebook Platform and the Open Graph protocol. Making it possible for developers to create applications that could access this data and use it to provide a more personalized experience for users.
Web 3.0 (present-future)
Web 3.0 or the “Semantic Web” is the next phase of the World Wide Web. It is a more intelligent and interconnected version of the Internet. It is powered by technologies like Big Data and artificial intelligence (AI).
The Semantic Web is meant to be a more sensible and structured way of organizing data on the Internet. This will make it possible for machines to do things like make better recommendations, provide more personalized experiences, and even conduct transactions without the need for intermediaries.
Key Features of Web 3.0
To understand how Web 3.0 works, we need to take a deeper look into its key features:
- Semantic Web
- Artificial Intelligence
- 3D Graphics
One of the defining features of Web 3.0 is ubiquity, which refers to the ability to access information and services from anywhere at any time. It makes the web more omnipotent, allowing users to connect and interact with each other regardless of location.
Even though Web 2.0 was already quite ubiquitous, with the introduction of smartphones and other mobile devices, Web 3.0 promises to be even more so. However, now with the advent of IoT (Internet of Things), Internet-connected devices will no longer be limited to just laptops and smartphones. They will also include everyday objects like fridges, cars, etc.
Semantic(s) is the study of words and their meaning. It is the ability to understand the intent of a piece of information and the context in which it is used.
The Semantic Web is a more intelligent version of the World Wide Web, where data is linked together in a more meaningful way. This makes it possible for computers to understand complex information, the way humans do.
For example, consider the following two sentences where the syntax is different:
- The weather is good.
- It is sunny outside.
But if we semantically link them, we can see that they have the same meaning:
The weather is good → It is sunny outside.
This linking of data makes it possible for computers to decode meaning and emotions by understanding/analyzing the data.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is the process of programming a computer system to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as understanding natural language and recognizing faces.
In Web 3.0, AI will be used to help computers make better sense of the vast amount of data available on the Semantic Web. It will also be used to create more personalized experiences for users by understanding their needs and preferences.
For example, Google already uses AI in its search algorithm to provide more relevant results for users. And with the introduction of RankBrain, it is only getting better at it. It's also using AI to remove fake news and low-quality content from its search results.
Another key feature of Web 3.0 is the use of 3D graphics. This will make websites and applications more immersive and interactive. It will also enable the creation of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) experiences.
One company that is already using 3D graphics in a big way is Amazon. It has introduced 3D product images on its website, which allows users to see the products from all angles. This gives them a better idea of what they are buying and also helps reduce returns.
Unlike their 2D counterparts, 3D graphics are more realistic and engaging. They have the potential to revolutionize the way we interact with websites and applications. Sectors like health, real estate, and e-commerce will be the biggest beneficiaries of this technology.
Web 3.0 Applications
Web 3.0 applications are still in their early stages of development. But there are already some examples of what they might look like. Some of the most promising applications include:
- Decentralized social networks
- Decentralized finance (DeFi) applications
- Decentralized marketplaces
- Distributed data storage systems
- Identity management systems
- Predictive analytics platforms
These are just a few examples of the kinds of applications that could be built on top of the Semantic Web. The possibilities are truly endless.
Big companies like Google, Apple and Amazon are already working on building the infrastructure for Web 3.0. Two examples of these apps are Siri and Wolfram Alpha.
Apple's voice-activated assistant that uses artificial intelligence to understand natural language queries has come a long way. It has grown smarter since its launch in 2011 and is now able to handle more complex queries.
Today, Siri and other AI assistants such as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa are being used more and more to control smart devices in our homes. They understand requests like "turn on the lights" or "set the temperature to 72 degrees."
In the future, Siri and other AI assistants will become even more powerful as they gain access to more data. They will be able to provide us with personalized recommendations and advice.
Wolfram Alpha is a computational knowledge engine that can answer factual queries. It is sometimes described as a "computational search engine."
Wolfram Alpha is different from other search engines because it doesn't just provide a list of links to websites. It actually computes the answer to your query.
For example, if you ask Wolfram Alpha "Difference Between Cats and Dogs," it will compute the answer and give you a list of the differences. Whereas asking the same question to Google will give you a list of websites that talk about the differences between cats and dogs.
That's how Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 differ. Web 3.0 is more intelligent and interconnected and does not rely on links to provide answers.
The new web is still in its early stages of development, but the potential is huge. With the help of artificial intelligence and other technologies, we can expect to see some amazing applications in the future.
The best part about Web 3.0 is that it is more decentralized than the current web. This will give rise to a new breed of applications that are not controlled by any central authority.
We can expect to see more use of blockchain technology in the future as well. This will help create a more secure and trustless internet.