Web 3.0 refers to the phase of web development that follows Web 2.0, and is characterized by the semantic web, the ever-present web, and the application of articificial intelligence.
Because no one is certain that we've arrived at Web 3.0 yet, when we might get there, or exactly what it will look like, the definition of Web 3.0 varies from one source to the next. What we know is this: Web 3.0 will be the next major phase of growth of the web, and it will build on the interactive, socially connected, and collaborative websites of Web 2.0, as well as the static informational websites of Web 1.0.
Most experts agree that Web 3.0 will be characterized by a few key concepts:
- Minimalist designs: Web 3.0 will be marked by a renewed focus on usability and simplicity in website and application design.
- Ever-present web: Internet access will continue to expand and become an increasingly ever-present aspect of life. Internet access, once categorized as an optional service, will increasingly become a part of the infrastructure of daily life.
- Semantic web: The data that powers websites and applications will be stored and categorized in a semantic fashion so that it is easily accessible and readable to both computers and humans.
- Artificial intelligence: As the semantic web grows and technology continues to evolve, artificial intelligence will be brought to bear on tasks previously accomplished with complex algorithms and human creativity and ingenuity.
As you can see, the web today has already begun to reflect many of the trends of Web 3.0. Minimalist web and application design, with a focus on usability, is the way leading designers approach new projects. The web is just about everywhere, albeit not without challenges in the form of cellular data caps, limited broadband access in rural areas, and corporate attempts to add figurative toll lanes to the IT infrastructure that powers the Internet. Within the web design and development community, there is a strong focus on the proper use of web languages to engender the expansion of the semantic web. We're even beginning to see glimmers of artificial intelligence in concept if not in practical application. If we haven't reached Web 3.0 yet, we are on the cusp.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the semantic web?
The semantic web is a term used to describe a web that is as easily read and accessed by a computer as by a human. In order for this to happen, websites and applications must be written in, and store data using, correctly applied programming languages, data structures, and data categories. This work is being spearheaded by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). As the semantic web expands, computers can use data on the web as the basis for evolving artificial intelligence.
How will artificial intelligence be used in Web 3.0?
AI on the web will be used to make judgement calls about the web. For example, some organizations have already created an intelligent application that can make predictions about hit songs based on data mined from college music websites. The potential applications of AI are hard to wrap one's mind around, but will likely be seen in areas such as search engine results ranking, personalized content filtering services, and similar applications that produce data-driven content recommendations.
What's coming next after Web 3.0?
The next phase after Web 3.0 is approaching so quickly it may get here just as quickly as Web 3.0 and is called the Internet of Things (IoT). Once IoT is upon us, internet-connected devices will speak to each other without human involvement. We're already seeing the first glimmers of IoT in the form of automated building climate control and self-driving cars.