It is the next phase of the world wide web. Not only will it make the internet more interactive and dynamic, it would enable computers to understand data in the same way humans do.
Around the late 1990s and early 2000s, if someone had told you could own your blog or video your location real-time for anyone around the globe to see, how would you have responded? Most of us might not realise it, but we are at the dawn of the next internet evolution- WEB 3.0.
A peek into the potential of Web 3.0 is Apple’s Siri, Alexa. The technology combines artificial intelligence with voice recognition. Now imagine being able to deploy related technologies like this to relieve you of household chores and routine administrative duties. Fascinating, right?
The next web evolution will bring with it new tools and strategies beyond what we currently know. This goes beyond chatting platforms, search engines or cryptocurrencies. Web 3.0 will give us a permissionless, decentralised, peer to peer network and other technologies that will dazzle our minds.
The people who are able to understand the underlying technology early enough will position themselves as leaders in their industries. Imagine buying bitcoins in 2010, knowing how to build Facebook in 2005. Web 3.0 is a fundamental technological shift that will disrupt our society and the way things are done.
Before we proceed to the possibilities of Web 3.0, let’s go back in time and examine how it all began and the transition over the years.
Web 1.0 was the beginning of the web evolution (around 1990-2005). Then, websites were meant to simply provide information and users to consume. Content was created by big corporations, newspapers and institutions. No one could tweet their thoughts or blog about their favourite dish.
Web 2.0 was a shift from static to a user-generated content. It enabled a new form of media and content, and brought the user into the game. Rather than consuming information alone, users could create and distribute through the platform (Facebook, Twitter, Wordpress, Instagram, Youtube). Nonetheless, Web 2.0 had some limitations which raised a lot of concerns. Some of these issues are what accelerated the creation of Web 3.0. Here are some of the problems:
Censorship: One excess baggage that came along with Web 2.0 was the rise of tech giants (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, etc) These platforms possess unrivalled control over anything that goes on and retain the power to censor any content. Unpopular opinions could be banned before they were objectively examined.
Under the guise of terms such as disinformation and fake news, they can de-platform anybody regardless of status (as witnessed in the United States 2020 elections). Any ideology or opinion which doesn’t resonate with the founder or board of owners can be taken down at any moment.
Content Creation Compensation: The compensation model on most Web 2.0 platforms are skewed to favour the owners of the platform. Users are encouraged to create the contents but the platforms take a significant percentage from the income generated through the content.
Other times, the content creator might not get any reward for the audience they generate through their content. Instead the platforms make money by advertising to the content consumer.
Breach of Data: Data is the new oil and most tech giants have access to it in abundance. Users register on these platforms in exchange for submitting their data. They sell these data to marketers and make money off it.
Furthermore, the algorithm observes users behaviour such as preferred content, likes, engagement time, videos and companies searched. Then, it packages content related to what the user enjoys and sends it to them so they can spend more time on the platform.
Why Web 3.0 is different
Web 3.0 aims to make the web better, faster, smarter and able to make the web sort data like humans. Here are how it will improve on what we currently have:
Web 3.0 will be decentralised and permit no control centre (either private or public). Blockchain will be the underlying technology driving it. This means it will be community governed and user friendly. This reduces the risk of issues such breach of privacy, censorship, and denial of service attacks.
2: Data Control.
Users will be able to exert some level of control over their data. Their information will be encrypted by blockchain. This will include all data such as bio-data, financial details, preferences and the various forms of content they consume. No central authority will have access to their data to sell to marketers or repackage any unsolicited related content to them.
To an extent Web 2.0 granted us access to places that were not previously accessible. But there are still limitations to what we can do and transactions we can make. These limitations are caused by politics, nationality, income and ethnicity.
When Web 3.0 goes mainstream, the internet will be permissionless (and make the world truly flat). Users will be able to send, receive, and consume messages from anywhere in the world. There will be unlimited cross-border transactions to anyone around the globe regardless of their gender, race or beliefs.
Web 3.0 will pervade every aspect of our lives. To the older generation who used Web 1.0 in their offices or an internet cafe alone, Web 2.0 might look like a luxury. But Web 3.0 will go beyond smartphones, tablets and other smart devices. It will penetrate every aspect of life and be available on more devices than it is today.
The Components Technologies Driving Web 3.0
In no particular order, the following technologies will power Web 3.0
Internet of things: IoT will play a crucial role in making the internet more interactive. The more open the web becomes, the more different devices can be connected to the internet, and the better users can participate.
More people will want to be part of the web when they can give instructions to their refrigerator and it would understand. When better AI/ML models are incorporated into more devices (previously not internet enabled) that can understand users, the internet will be more accessible.
Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality: Virtual Reality can take you anywhere, helping you learn about different places and ideas by experiencing them as if you were actually there. A time is coming when you won’t have to travel hundreds of miles to another city to examine a new house.
Through augmented reality, the web can allow you to search things visually by pointing your camera lens at them. Google lenses are a good example. You can search things on google without typing a single word. All you have to do is scan the object with google lens and the web will do the rest.
Blockchain Technology: Blockchains are decentralised digital ledgers distributed across different networks of computers. Because the data are distributed on multiple data stores no one can manipulate existing data. This makes it immutable.
When blockchain are integrated into the web, it would be more open for anyone to use. Cryptocurrency gives us a glimpse of what is possible with a blockchain enabled web. It could also be a way for users to earn from the web.
Artificial Intelligence: AI will play a pivotal role in making the web become semantic. It would facilitate the shift from basic text processing to intelligent processing. The web will understand when users use the “emojis” rather than words. Here, websites will understand users better, faster and smarter.
Artificial intelligence is already being integrated into Web 2.0 applications. The use of Siri on Apple is a typical example. It’s also the underlying technology that would power self driving cars to become fully operative.
The takeover from web 1.0 by Web 2.0 happened noiselessly and it’s obvious the transition to Web 3.0 will happen the same. It’s already happening with Bitcoin, NFTs, Dapps and numerous AI technologies. A paradigm shift is happening right underneath our noses.