The future of the internet apparently.
As with most things in life, particularly technology, there are constant upgrades to improve or increase functionality. For example, your iPhone or Samsung Galaxy update every year, whereas the internet in its lifetime, almost 40 years, so far has only undergone one major upgrades.
The first big leap from web 1.0 to 2.0 was the addition of user-generated content, which was supported through mobile internet access and social networks. Previously the web was designed in a ‘read only’ format. Web 2.0 stepped it up to be ‘read and edit’ access. This improved functionality made the internet much more accessible and appealing to users. From posting selfies to writing blogs, to being able to message friends and family on the other side of the world, it’s the iteration most of us are familiar with using today.
So, what does web 3.0 have in store for us?
The core concepts of the next upgrade include “decentralization, openness, and greater user utility” according to Investopedia (see here). The ultimate goal of this is to remove some of the control giants such as Facebook, Google and Amazon have and hand it back to the user, thus preventing censorship and surveillance. Using blockchain technology to remove the intermediary and governing bodies, will enable the networks to interact directly and anyone will be able to participate. The other big addition to web 3.0 is the introduction of AI or Artificial Intelligence. This feature will enable computers to understand information more accurately and thus in turn be able to provide more timely and relevant results.
Certainly, there are pros and cons to this new version of the web. Users regaining greater control over their personal data certainly seems a positive outcome. This may help reduce things such as data extraction and limit the advertising and market we are all bombarded with daily. However, the cons are also something to be considered, as along with decentralization this could bring about a rise in cybercrime, hate speech, and misinformation, things we already seem to be grappling with.
Like all things in life, it seems balance is the key. How can we improve data security for users and yet ensure the minimization of harmful content? How can we stick it to the man, being those big tech giants, whilst also ensuring the safety of our communities’ most vulnerable? Some suggest 2022 will see the rise of web 3.0 whereas others suggest we are still looking at 5-10 years before it becomes fully fledged. Only time will tell. But for now, it is looking likely to become a reality, so best to get a step ahead of the game and educate yourself, we’ve included some helpful resources below.
Wall Street Journal YouTube – Why some see web 3.0 as the future of the internet
TEDx Talk – Web3, Blockchain, cryptocurrency: a threat or an opportunity?