Web 1.0, 2.0, ++

A bite sized take on Web numbering

Early numbers, 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0, are generally fairly widely accepted, although anything higher is arguably more made-up and used for envisioning a concept, which may or may not deliver a tangible outcome. Some realistic and not so realistic outcomes….

Let’s start with Web 1.0, which was the original passive web which started it all off and allowed for the display and operation of hypertext links. The WWW was invented by Tim Berners Lee in 1989 and who led the development of HTML. This kick started the Internet-WWW revolution.

(Source: http://www.w3.org/People/Berners-Lee/).

You need to start somewhere and this was it: Search engines evolved, and the concept of greater interactivity was explored.

We are all (well most of us) immersed into Web 2.0 at the moment, which the Oxford English Dictionary defines as “The second stage of development of the Internet, characterized especially by the change from static web pages to dynamic or user-generated content and the growth of social media.” (Source https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/Web_2.0)

web 2.0

Web 2.0

Web 2.0 has seen the main period of growth on the web, which has been continually evolving. This has lead to an explosion in social media sites and applications, user generated content and further collaboration and sharing amongst users. This is really where we are in 2017, there are lots that can still be done to create a more joined up, open and collaborative community from a learning perspective, but there are also significant developments bubbling up ready for the next full development stage.

Web 3.0 is often called the ‘Sematic Web’ which is looking at the use of interconnected data to aid support decision making. Where the decision is undertaken by Artificial Intelligence then this will have evolved into Web 4.0 (see below).

“The Semantic Web is a Web of data — of dates and titles and part numbers and chemical properties and any other data one might conceive of.” (Source: http://www.w3.org/standards/semanticweb/)

The wide use of sensors within an outdoor environment to feed data into a central hub will be a core feature for sports turf management. This will all provide valuable information in helping to determine how best to manage surfaces in a sustainable way.

CRM and similar systems will really come into their own (you could argue, for example, that someone like Amazon are already deploying Web 3.0 technologies).

With the rise of ‘fake news’ an effective and open semantic web also offers the prospect of challenging false news stories, helping to better inform the general public.

Web 3.0 may also see the further development of 3D web objects as a way of visualising and demonstrating the connections from a web of data. This could be of particular value in explaining complex interactions to the general public. One inference here though is the need for experts to prepare the information and the maintenance of trust in the general public of the experts, something which has taken a battering over 2016 and 2017.

Web 4.0: This will be building on the web of data and will include, Artificial Intelligence(AI), Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), MR (Mixed Reality – combination of AR and VR). There will be widespread use of biometrics, pervasiveness of sensors to aid decision making (a sensor driven web?), automated work programmes based on real-time information and the wide deployment of realistic robotic devices.

There could be a quick transition from Web 3.0 to Web 4.0 because many features of the latter will be reliant on the data generated by the web of data. Effectiveness and efficiency within the workplace will gain from Web 4.0 technologies. Will this mean greater specialisation of tasks though? What I mean by this is the approach taken by the thought of ‘scientific management’ in the early 1900s, from Frederick Taylor, resulting in monotonous work routines of limited variability.

Widespread deployment of  Web 4.0 technologies, however, could lead to a more thoughtful, qualitative lifestyle based on experiences, rather than market driven consumption (consumerism). Unfortunately there will also be an even wider gap between the rich and poor within developed countries and between developed and developing countries.

Web 5.0: The web will have elements of a sentient framework, it will be ‘self-aware’, a sentient web. It will be capable of sensations which are reacting to stimuli. This is only possible following the effective building blocks of the web of data and the technological deployments of Web 4.0; something which will be many years in the making. Are we now in the realm of ‘The Terminator’? Hopefully the developed technology will be used for more benign purposes.

Web 6.0: This is where it might get a bit scarier for humankind. The replicating web: the web can reproduce objects of its own accord, potentially creating an artificial world where the decision has been made (by advanced artificial intelligence) to reproduce whatever is deemed desirable by the decision outcome. We already have 3-D printers, which are pretty basic, but the concept has been demonstrated that objects can be created through digital code being communicated to a certain type of printer.

Web 7.0: Well here it gets a bit too far fetched (even if some of the previous stages were far fetched also). A transcendental or spiritual web. A web that exceeds human experiences and understandings. We get into the realms of time-space disruptions and the dichotomy of physical v spiritual entities. Phew, let’s leave it there!

Chris Gray, 28th May 2017