What is web 4.0?
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Web 4.0. Find out all about it and how it will change the Internet
Everything changes. Even the Internet.
We know that you haven’t noticed but the Internet has changed over the years. From its origins, back in the 60s, the network has been enriched and transformed in order to become what we now know. But that process has been continuous and quite fast over the years. In a few years, the Internet will be very different from what we now know. Some people such as Eric Schmidt, CEO of Alphabet, has been warning for years that the Internet will “disappear”, since it will be so integrated into our lives and our environment that we will not even notice it.
We already know that the Internet is evolving, but where is it going? In this article we will look at the future of the Internet and how it will evolve, this is known as web 4.0, and we will find out all about it and how the Internet has evolved since the beginning.
In order to accomplish web 4.0, the Internet has evolved over time, going from 3 previous phases, which involved significant changes in its operation and features for users.
- Web 1.0, this one was developed during the 20th century, and this was the basic network. In Web 1.0 users were limited to consume static content, and they weren’t not able to upload anything new to the network. Thus, in web 1.0 everything was dealt by the Webmaster.
- Web 2.0, it was developed around the first decade of this century, and it was an important evolution, it became a social phenomenon with millions of users exchanging ideas and content in forums, blogs or social networks. Web 1.0 went through a process of relatively slow social acceptance; but web 2.0 broke out in a powerful way, reaching hundreds of millions of users around the world. With web 2.0, the Internet became a global phenomenon.
- Web 3.0, this is the one we use today, and it is known as the “semantic web”. It is a more intelligent web, with great search engines, which try to understand human language. Another significant change is the mobility in its use. Nowadays, a large part of the use of the Internet is done through phones, and tools such as “the cloud” which can help diversify its use options. Therefore, we could also call web 3.0 as the “Phone web” or the “flexible web”.
But what about web 4.0? How will it be? A standard for Internet 4.0 has not yet been established, and it doesn’t have a name yet, but there are clues to know how it will evolve.
We might be able to call Internet 4.0 the “active web”. In the current web 3.0, the use of search engines is still essential, and these give us information, in its largest content web pages, which we can use according to our needs.
So, if for example we want to find accommodation in Rome for one night in a Hotel, we just need to write in a search engine something like “hotel room Rome”, and the search engine gives us a list of web pages, usually room finders, which we will use accordingly.
Web 4.0 will be quite different from this. When fully developed, it will remove several of the steps required when using web 3.0, this way its use is more direct and “invisible”.
First, traditional search engines might not disappear but they will be integrated into virtual assistants.
These virtual assistants will be able to understand the natural language, both spoken and written, and we can ask them questions as if they were a human assistant. So, we tell them something like “get me a room in Rome for the 12 of July,” and we will obtain a reservation in a hotel based on what we like, our taste -which is something that the virtual assistant has previously figured out- and then we will only have to confirm and that’s it!
But this “simplification” or “activation” of the use of the network will not be the only change included in Web 4.0. In addition to this, it will be the network itself, which will propose things -this, is already around us but it is still quite new, we can witness this through the suggestions that reach our mobile phones-, in a contextual way.
So, if for example an application or your virtual assistant knows your habits and your tastes, it will book on its own and with your name, things such as movie tickets to see the new film of your favourite director, it will only need a confirmation from you in order to make the reservation.
When will we be able to witness web 4.0? Probably sooner than you expect. The technologies that will make it possible are already being developed and these are on the right track. Virtual assistants, such as Siri, Cortana or Google Now, are accomplishing a greater understanding of natural language thanks to automatic learning systems. And also, the “Big Data” is processed more effectively, linking all the information obtained through multiple sources.
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