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Dan Csonka  

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Web 3.0 Shines Bright Some Other Day

Posted by: Daniel on Tuesday, March 16, 2010 - 10:34 PM Print article Printer-friendly page  Email to a friend
Computer Info
Recently I was tasked with writing a paper on the belief if Web 2.0 has progressed to Web 3.0. Here is my conclusion:

Web 3.0 is in development but simply doesn’t exist on the Internet as a whole. Web 3.0 will bring a leap in personalization, location awareness, and artificial intelligence. However, until updates on hardware, software, and human behavior occur it will maintain as an experiment.

Web applications in Web 2.0 have given rich interactions with online property. Web 3.0’s goal is to extend those same applications to become more personalized. They will become smarter and allow for individual styles the user prefers. Currently the most popular applications online maintain an extremely basic ability to edit even basic layout and colors. Google’s Gmail, Apple’s Mobile Me suite, Microsoft’s Office Online Suit and Google Docs all restrain your control over layout and placement to navigate within the application. The only way to do this is to design your own website or application using advanced tools only developers and programmers understand. Human common knowledge is something that advances with time; email is now ubiquitous where it wasn’t 15 years ago. Currently increased options would confuse the majority more then help. In 15 years Web 3.0 might be here as computers become more common knowledge and both humans and computers step up the learning curve.

Beyond the ability to personalize is the power to learn. Something that is still far off for computer applications. Some websites have been experimenting to learn and understand words with reason and context. Most common in online search engines, Google claims its own algorithm is slowly learning more each day. A small new search engine named WolframAlpha attempts to understand human text in sentences rather than keywords as in the past. The reason for this is to understand the words in context then just the meaning alone. Even with bold claims, both Google and WolframAlpha are far from their goal and are not Web 3.0. Searches are still far from understanding compound requests in a single search. This continues to prove even the best search engines are still based on a keyword Web 2.0 approach. If it is learning, it is too slow and inaccurate to be called Web 3.0.

Personalization and artificial intelligence both merge at one key component of Web 3.0, location. With Web 3.0 location based services can figure out your location, what is around you, and understand your habits. By tracking movements, your favorite places to spend money, and how to direct you back to them, the Web 3.0 will best answer questions relating to the individual. While this division shows the most progress beyond Web 2.0, we have not reached the total goal of tracking and understanding. GPS hardware is built into too few electronic devices. Cameras, laptops, and cell phones, all maintain only a tiny percent of the market that build in a GPS. If location is to be key this will have to change.

Web 3.0 has a specific goal to build on Web 2.0’s applications. In 10 years, Web 3.0 will support people with better, more personal, and smarter applications. However, technology is just not currently ready for mass adoption. The applications and databases are growing, but maintain too small to take effect how they intend to. Using large databases and petabytes of information they can become smarter, but everyone and everything has to contribute to that growth or it could be missing very important data. Until then, Web 3.0 is a dream that must wait to see the light of day.

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