Web 3.0 – A Smarter Internet
By: David Thompson, Founder & CEO, Thompson Technologies, Inc.
The Internet has undergone an immense evolution since its inception. Web 1.0, the first generation of the commercial Internet, emerged on the scene as a massive collection of content with limited interactivity. Today, our version of the Internet, Web 2.0, is packed with dynamic networking capabilities and user-created connections such as blogs, personal web pages, and XML taggings.
Web. 3.0, the third generation of the Internet, is currently still in the early stages of research and development. It is a concept driven largely by a host of new technologies whose primary aim is to make online searching more intelligent and efficient for all users.
This idea, known as the “semantic” Web, would not only provide a way to classify individual bits of online data such as pictures, text, or database entries but would also define relationships between classification categories. In this way the Web would actually take on aspects of a database, or a web of databases.
“I call it the World Wide Database,” said Nova Spivack, the founder of a start-up firm whose technology detects relationships between packets of information by mining the World Wide Web. “We are going from a Web of connected documents to a Web of connected data.”
Developers of the semantic Web hope to revolutionize our current methods of querying. Their goal is to add a layer of artificial intelligence on top of the existing Web to provide the foundation for systems that can reason in a human fashion, eventually producing data-surfing computer servants that automatically reason their way through problems.
A recent article in The New York Times noted, “… the Holy Grail for developers of the semantic Web is to build a system that can give a reasonable and complete response to a simple question like: “I’m looking for a warm place to vacation and I have a budget of $3000. Under Web 3.0, the search would ideally call up a complete vacation package that was planned as meticulously as if it had been assembled by a human travel agent.
Realization of this concept would have exciting and far-reaching implications for industry and technology as a whole, but it may be years before the Web is populated by artificially intelligent software agents.
However, their predecessors are already in use today. These techniques are helping developers unite complex applications and bring once inaccessible data sources online.
Semantic Web tools are now being used to improve and automate database searches across various industries, from helping people choose vacation destinations to sorting through complicated financial data more efficiently.
Citigroup plans to use semantic technologies to help identify capital-market investment opportunities by correlating information from diverse financial-data feeds.
Semantic tools have also recently been incorporated into Oracle’s latest, most powerful database suite, and Hewlett-Packard has produced open-source tools for creating Semantic Web applications.
At present, Web 3.0 remains a dot on the technological horizon and will probably take years to fulfill its promises, but it is almost certainly paving the way for a smarter Internet in the very near future.
Thompson Technologies is an IT Staffing Firm providing “Precision IT Staffing Services” to Fortune 1000 companies locally and nationwide.