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The Future of the Web: Web 3.0 and Beyond!

Submitted by on July 10, 2007 – 8:40 pm 82 views No Comment

Tim Berners-Lee, father (Sire, actually) of web, was interviewed recently and provided his commentary on the vision for the future of the semantic web.

Tim discusses some of the latest “terminology” that is somewhat related/intertwined with the semantic web: web2.0, web3.0, and even web4.0. He also touches on the origins of the web, what the semantic web is all about, and net neutrality. When asked about the long-term future of the web (web 4.0?), Tim replied:

“IDG: Some people like Nova Spivak and Microsoft’s cofounder Paul Allen work with a timeline that envisions the arriving of Web 3.0 by 2010 and a future Web 4.0 by 2020. Can you imagine what this Web 4.0 is supposed to be?

Berners-Lee: (Laughs) No, I don’t do that. I think about real technology. I didn’t invent the term “Web 3.0.” The Web is constantly developing. If you want to see what’s happening that I am interested in now, there are several technologies laced together. In Web 2.0 there are some technologies like JavaScript and others that are all standards that came out of allowing people to do things. Most standards are coming out now that will have a good push towards the mobile Web initiative, which is the use of the Web on lots of different devices.

In the future we will have the Semantic Web that will allow a whole lot of other things. One of the powerful things about networking technology like the Internet or the Web or the Semantic Web, one of the characteristics of such a technology is that the things we’ve just done with it far surpass the imagination of the people who invented them. Take for example the inventors of TCP/IP, the original protocols for communication between computers over the Internet, created by Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn in 1974.

When I invented the Web, I thought of it as an infrastructure; I designed the Web as a foundation for many things. With Web 2.0, social networks and all kinds of things happen on top of it. When the Semantic Web arrives in the next few years, things will be using it in a way we cannot know yet. So, in a way, it’s foolish to try to imagine what Web 4.0 will be like when we still don’t know what will be done with 3.0.

For Web 3.0 to succeed, the people who are studying it at this moment will have ideas which will enable the new technology. They will design fantastic things just like people with Web 2.0 are designing fantastic things right now. People working with the Semantic Web will make much more powerful things. We can’t imagine what they will do. But we have to build the Web to be an infrastructure. It shall never be used for particularized purposes but just to be a foundation for future developments.”

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