Hi world, remember those good ol’ days when you type something into your Google search bar and Google immediately suggests and or predicts what you intend to search? I recall the first time I saw that and was like…
And now we’re so accustomed to those predicted suggestions that we already know that we can simply hit the arrow down button on our keyboard as a shortcut so that we do not have to type out our entire search query. You feel that Google knows you, Google can read your mind. However, after we Google how Google works, you learn that it’s all part of the computerised algorithm. This algorithm is slowly but steadily improving.
It is a gradual upgrade but it is apparent that Web 3.0 will not be the same. Third time’s a charm! I’m not discounting the fact that Web 2.0 was vastly different from Web 1.0. However, like the jump from studying in a secondary school to a polytechnic, it is a huge stretch from 2.0 to 3.0. The age of social media will ultimately be the age of the Internet as everybody’s private assistant (PA). I’ll admit that my heart sang a little tune when I read that. I am no busy woman but trust me, I’ll need all the help I can get in terms of life reminders.
So how is that possible? How can the Internet, something so massively shared among the global audience become so… personal? It is made possible by the pivotal feature of the new Web. It is aptly dubbed as the Semantic Web coined by our favourite hero Tim Berners-Lee. Semantics refer to meanings, the meanings which are the crux to communication and exchanging information. Once the Web has been programmed to comprehend meanings, it will be able to more accurately provide precise search findings for your queries. Also, these learned meanings will be continuously added to its database so it remains updated (imagine all the new gifs, memes and newly created words it must learn to understand its users).
However, it is important to note that such refined programming takes time and a lot of effort. This time, the programmers can only do so much. They provide the Web with the basic tools (to listen and learn). The Web will then require users to feed them with information which they will then process and apply to their search functions and maybe even conversations held with the users. Although a multitude of speculations and envisages of how Web 3.0 will be like can be found online, it’s still difficult to imagine it all. Especially for a tech noob like me. If you have read my past blog posts (shameless self promo), you would know that I’m the epitome of a computer and technology idiot. I feel like a granny trying to pick up the newest applications (no offence to all the high tech grannies out there).
I’m sorry for digressing but here’s a cool gif of a granny surfing the Web (there are two more of such gifs at the end of the post for my 1-2 readers coz I love you guys)
With the advent of Siri, Apple’s intelligent private assistant (PA) service introduced seven years ago, we have a very rough idea of the PA concept. However, as I sat through COM125 class last week, I recall feeling slightly apprehensive at the promised functionalities of Web 3.0. Also, there are several challenges to be faced by the up-and-coming Semantic Web. Here are my thoughts:
Firstly, privacy issues. The more you share with the Internet, the more personal information you have on the Web. In this day and age, we are already facing issues with retaining and keeping our private information and details to ourselves. With Web 3.0, you will be sharing a lot more online, more than what you share on your social media pages. As Web 3.0 aims to be integrated into the lives of the users, privacy issues will spike and we will definitely need to implement stricter policies to prevent the loss of personal information. Furthermore, people are also getting the sense that they are sharing too much and being on the Web for far too long. Our lifestyles have already been dramatically changed by Web 2.0 and this time with Web 3.0, our lives will be merged with the Web.
With the current pervasiveness of Web 2.0, people are attempting to seek solace by escaping the Web and turning to fasting from social media or taking an Internet-less trip in a jungle. Web 3.0 will be even more ubiquitous… web addiction is and will be REALLY REAL!
Apart from Internet addiction, marketing companies will be jumping on the bandwagon. Advertising and sales managers will squeal at all the available details of their prospective customers. We, the consumers on the other hand, will need to try harder to evade them. We are unable to simply ignore the call or call off lunch with a persistent insurance agent. Can you sense my frustration yet…?
Of course, it’s not all bad but all this hype about Web 3.0 has got me thinking about the downfalls as well. Hopefully, the myriad of benefits offered in the Semantic Web will outweigh the disadvantages… Well, I’m keeping my fingers crossed!
Here’s more information on Web 3.0:
As promised, here’s the surfing granny: