The world around us is changing at an increasing rate. And many futurists believe that we are at the foyer of the future that we always imagined. The credit for this goes to game-changing technologies like Blockchain, DAOs, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and many more.
These are rapidly evolving and laying the foundation of this coming tomorrow. It is the future that caught our imagination in various Science-fiction movies wherein technology is intelligent, well-connected, decentralised and automated.
Today we will talk about one such futuristic technology that will form the linchpin of all these developments – Web 3.0. Also known as Web3 or the Semantic Web.
What is Web 3.0?
Imagine you are returning to your home in your self-driven car after working hard the whole day at the office. You are very tired and can’t wait to reach home. As soon as you reach closer, the garage gate automatically starts to open. You park your car and move inside your home. The lights turn on by themselves, the temperature of the house is automatically set to your preference.
The voice of an Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA) asks you about the day and what you would prefer to do now? It suggests some of the options depending on your day and mood. You choose to go for your usual drink and watch television. The drink is getting prepared, meanwhile, you sit on the couch. The TV is turned on with your favorite show and you just can’t get enough of it. What a way to end a hectic day.
Do you know what technologies have enabled these functions?
All these developments are a result of our information system attaining intelligence with the help of technologies like Artificial intelligence and Machine learning. This information system understands your personality and preferences and works in accordance.
For example, if you are a motorcar enthusiast and want to see a show about Jaguar, it doesn’t show you something about the animal Jaguar. This is what Web 3.0 is at its peak in the future.
It is the intelligent information system that works in tandem with other technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) in the future, to give you the life you always wanted.
So, to discuss the definition of Web 3.0, it is the third iteration of the internet that would be able to think like us. Like, it would not only able to understand the meaning of the words but also the context, sense and emotions behind them.
And it doesn’t end there, the new version of the internet will be based on a decentralised ledger technology, commonly known as blockchain technology. The technology will bring the aspect of decentralization into the system and allow the user to have control over their data. This is stark opposite to the current version of the internet, known as Web 2.0, wherein the data is centralized and controlled by a few tech giants.
Thus, you can say, it will possess human intelligence to understand the context and act accordingly. Moreover, Machine Learning helps it improve itself consistently. Understanding its feature will help us get a better hold on this concept.
Features of Web 3.0
This is the core feature of Web 3.0. While today in Web 2.0 the data is stored at a particular location or server that is the property of a certain organization. This leaves the control of that data in the hands of that organization, which can use it for profiteering.
Thus, jeopardizing the privacy of many users. This is one of the main drawbacks of Web 2.0 that Web 3.0 seeks to do away with.
Since Web 3.0 is based on blockchain, a decentralized ledger technology, which stores data in multiple locations, it will also result in distributed data storage simultaneously. This will give the user complete authority over their data and protect their privacy.
- Trustless & Permissionless
In the context of Web 3.0, being trustless is a positive word. This is because, the network will allow the user to interact with it directly without requiring any intermediary. Thus, they don’t need to entrust anyone with their data before putting it on the network. They can do it on their own and keep it safe with the help of unbreakable blockchain technology.
Similarly, the users do not need to acquire permission from anyone before interacting with this network. This makes them permissionless.
- Semantic Web
This is one of the most prominent improvements in Web 3.0 over the preceding versions. It would not only work based on the keywords the user puts in but also understands the underlying context.
Thus, it produces the results according to the sense of the search and not just the keywords as it’s being done in the current version i.e. Web 2.0. Like we said above, it understands the difference between Jaguar the car and Jaguar the animal.
- Artificial Intelligence
The next big improvement is the utilization of Artificial Intelligence. With the help of AI, Web 3.0 would be able to understand data as we do. And this will change how we interact with the digital world, given that it will also include Natural Language Processing(NLP).
Thus, the AI in Web 3.0 would be able to identify ambiguity or abnormality in data and pinpoint fake reviews or rigged ratings to remove them to keep the authenticity intact.
Moreover, with the help of Machine Learning, it will keep on improving itself and give better results everytime.
- Spatial Web
Web 3.0 will also deal extensively with 3D graphics, that is why many futurists also call it Spatial Web. This will enhance the immersive experience of the user to the manifold, for example, the user would be able to see the product on an e-commerce website in more clearer manner.
Similarly, Museums would be able to give an online tour or showcase their distinguished artifacts to attract visitors. Likewise, it can be utilised in healthcare, education, real-estate you name it.
Hence, the opportunities are boundless with the amazing 3D experience Web 3.0 will be able to offer to blur the line between the physical and the digital worlds.
This is where the above example of IVA will start to take shape. The connectivity will be in two forms. The first is the connectivity between the information and the second is connectivity between machines for example Internet of Things(IoT).
The first form of connectivity will be a result of AI. The reason, since this information system will itself understand the information, it will be able to juxtapose related information to present more productive results.
The second form of connectivity will be caused by two factors:
- Enabling technologies like Cloud Computing, Robotics, Big Data
- Mushrooming on Automated machines that can connect to the internet
These two factors will transform the interaction between humans and machines. And the common thread that will connect all these developments will be Web 3.0.
This will take the connectivity aspect of Web 3.0 to unprecedented levels. And usher in the high-tech future. And this takes us to another feature.
This will be a result of a higher extent of connectivity in Web 3.0 making it ubiquitous. Although, Web 2.0 is ubiquitous up to a limited extent for example only certain sites allow you to access your data from anywhere in the world. This data is solely controlled by the organization managing the website.
Web 3.0, along with its trait of decentralization, will take this feature to another level. The data will be accessible from around the world. Not only the data will be accessible to the user from anywhere in the world. The user would be the sole owner of their data.
Comparison between Web 1.0 vs Web 2.0 vs Web 3.0
Web 1.0 or the Static Web
It spanned from 1989 to 2005. It is called Static web because there was very limited interaction between the internet and the user. The information was very provided in a very straightforward and bland and access to it was very limited.
It was based on:
- HyperText Markup Language(HTML)
- URI or URL: Uniform Resource Identifier or Locator,
- HyperText Transfer Protocol(HTTP)
Also, the search engine only came into existence after 1995, which made email and access to real-time information possible. However, it was a time when few created the content for many. And this got changed in Web 2.0.
Web 2.0 or the Social Web
This network was a great shift from its previous version. Not only was it better when it came to interactivity and social connectivity. It allowed the user to generate content and let it spread across the internet to other millions or even billions of users. That is why it is also called the Social Web.
The most noticeable development was the advent of social networking and interactive applications. This facilitated the emergence of tech giants like Facebook, Google, Twitter, Youtube, etc. These giants gradually attained dominance on the internet by controlling its access and usage of the data over it.
Further, its growth got fueled by technological advancements like mobile phones and open source software like Android. These open-source software led to the development of millions of mobile-based software applications that expanded the utility of the internet to exponential levels.
Compared to the above two versions of the internet, Web 3.0 is based on the principles of decentralization, directness, privacy protection and permissionless access, etc., and will offer the obvious purpose of greater utility.
Thus, it will give the user more authority over their data. This will curb the data usage of the users without their permission which is the most talked-about disadvantage of Web 2.0.
As envisaged, it will take the bottom-up approach in which the users will guide the direction it would take. Moreover, the features that we discussed above like Semantic Web, Artificial Intelligence, Three-dimensional graphics, etc will offer even more utility in Web 3.0.
The below-mentioned table represents a quick comparison between Web 2.0 and Web 3.0.
Web 2.0 versus Web 3.0 – An approach to the metaverse
|Features||Web 2.0||Web 3.0|
|Organizational Structure||✅ Centralized Ownership & Control|
✅ Decisions are made by the hierarchy or shareholders of the controlling organization
|✅ Decentralized control and ownership by the community|
✅ Native tokens holders carry out governance and decisions are consensus-based
|Data Storage||✅ Centralized storage in specific locations||✅ Decentralized storage in multiple locations|
|Platform Format||✅ PC/console|
✅ VR/AR hardware
|✅ PC |
✅ VR/AR hardware
✅ Mobile App in coming times
|Payments Infrastructure||✅ Traditional payments methods such as Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Netbanking, etc.|
✅ Virtual currency limited to that platform
|✅ Crypto wallets|
✅ Cryptocurrencies & Tokens circulated across the platform
|Content Creators||✅ Game developers||✅ Community member|
✅ Game developers
|Portability Of Digital Assets||✅ Within the particular platform||✅ Can be transferred to different platforms|
|Ownership Of Digital Assets||✅ Within the platform where purchased||✅ Portable as owned by the user through Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)|
|Identity||✅ Avatar created on a particular platform|
|✅ Interoperable self-sovereign identity |
✅ Anonymous Private-key
|Revenue Models||✅ Revenue is shared by selling platform and the creator/developer||✅ Developers/creators directly earn revenue|
✅ Users earn through participation in activities including governance
✅ Royalties earn by NFTs creators on secondary transactions
|Participation Methods|| ✅ Socialization |
|✅ Play-to-earn game|
✅ Experiences like concerts
✅ All Web 2.0 activities
|Example||✅ World of Warcraft |
✅ Second Life
✅ Somnium Space
✅ The Sandbox
Advantages of Web 3.0
Ownership of Data
Under the Web 3.0 setting, the user gains ownership of their data and the privacy is protected by encryption of the data through blockchain technology. Therefore, this data can only be utilized by any third party after getting permission from the user on a need or case-by-case basis.
Ubiquitous Information Access
Web 3.0 enables ubiquitous information access, which is quite limited in Web 2.0. This will be made possible with the help of smartphone applications and cloud-based technologies. While in Web 2.0 users have to rely on an intermediary to access their own data, this will not be the case in Web 3.0 where there would be no intermediary.
Democratization of the Web
Web 3.0 provides democratization of the web as no central authority can dictate the access to its services, and neither can anyone stop its operation. It will execute the same functions in all circumstances thanks to the architecture that is based upon smart contracts.