Web 2.0 = Facebook, Web 3.0 = StumbleUpon, Web 4.0 = Skynet?

I was coming up with topics for hubs, and I thought about making one about the business models of web technology; specifically Web 2.0. While the idea seemed promising, there was already a galaxy, it seemed, of articles on the subject already. So after a while, I moved onto imagining what Web 3.0 would be like.

After realizing that Web 3.0 was no longer in the speculative stage, I ran a search to see if anyone had begun hypothesizing what Web 4.0 would be like. Suffice it to say, I was a little disturbed by what I found.

There were some theories that compared the next step of web technology to the advent of Artificial Intelligence, a.k.a., computers thinking and making decisions for themselves!

I was in disbelief at first. But that didn't last long. It seems like a common thread among sci-fi flicks that technology will inevitably be the end of us. But what once was dismissed as imaginative fantasy is starting to become more and more possible each day.

The T-90 Terminator Series; Skynet's main combat model. Could this be the end result of advancing web technology?
The T-90 Terminator Series; Skynet's main combat model. Could this be the end result of advancing web technology?
It seems that every piece of creative work dealing with advancing technology always paints a grim picture of the future.
It seems that every piece of creative work dealing with advancing technology always paints a grim picture of the future.

Web 2.0 Technology

Before you call me crazy, let's look at what is happening to web technology now. Web 2.0 is the current generation of Internet technology. In a nutshell, Web 2.0 is basically users (that's you and me) making content for websites, instead of the webmasters. Think of websites like Facebook, Youtube, and even HubPages. These are all examples of Web 2.0 technology at work.

Seems pretty low key and non-threatening, right? From both the users' and webmasters' viewpoints, it's a win-win equation. We get to determine what content gets created and have some power over how web technology evolves. Webmasters get to take advantage of all of this material for whatever reason they can come up with. Everything's peachy.

Web 3.0 Technology

Cool. Now let's move onto the next phase of web technology: Web 3.0. The accepted notion is that Web 3.0 will be more interactive than its predecessors. That is because it will learn about users and tailor searches and content to their interests. StumbleUpon is an example of a website using Web 3.0 technology. By utilizing a simple feature of rating whether users like or dislike a webpage, StumbleUpon is able to learn user patterns and bring about more relevant searches that the user will be more likely to enjoy.

Web 3.0 is the next logical step for web technology. It guarantees that every user will have a unique and intimate experience when surfing the Internet. Instead of having to machete through web content that is useless to the user, "the web" will gather information about each person by recording and analyzing their Internet habits. Imagine logging onto a news website, and only getting the news that you're interested in, without having to manually search for it. Brilliance!

Web 4.0 Technology

And now we arrive at the future of web technology; Web 4.0. Out of the few resources that I discovered that actually wrestled with the subject, most of them concluded that Web 4.0. would be akin to what we call Artificial Intelligence, or A.I. This means that computers (more specifically, the Internet) would be able to "think and make decisions" with regard to user searches and / or content.

That's right. The projected evolution of web technology may very well lead to human and robot coexistence. Robots that act and think like us. Of course, A.I. will probably start with computers and then move forward from there. That means computers will be able to give suggestions based on educated studies of how we live and what we want / need.

Ironically, the web technology / A.I. system in the Matrix trilogy eventually viewed humanity as a source of life for themselves.
Ironically, the web technology / A.I. system in the Matrix trilogy eventually viewed humanity as a source of life for themselves.

Let's say you wanted to learn how to fix a glitch crippling a new piece of technology that was just recently put on the market yesterday. It would still be too early for other users to help you do this, and the developers have not been able to troubleshoot the problem because it never occurred in the testing phase of development. Theoretically, the future of web technology would allow for a computer to analyze the problem and offer you a solution. In fact, it may be able to fix the problem itself!

Now this is where the whole threat of Skynet, and likewise A.I. systems comes into play. The fact that web technology could hypothetically solve problems and perform other tasks normally delegated to humans means optimum efficiency, and maintaining society.

That's good...right?

The Danger of Advanced Web Technology

Artificially Intelligent robots are mass produced and integrated firmly into society in I, Robot.
Artificially Intelligent robots are mass produced and integrated firmly into society in I, Robot.

But like all science-fiction movies, novels, video games and other works imply, the question of just how intelligent these systems will be gets raised. If advanced web technology can solve minor problems like computer glitches on its own, how long is it before the inevitable happens, and they attempt to "solve" the problem of humanity altogether?

It sounds crazy, but do realize that most of our technological advancement happened within a relatively short period of time when compared to the history of the planet. Think about services like Google Earth, that can provide users with information about other people's whereabouts, and the tracking devices in some of the newer cell phones being released.

Just where does all that information go? And who gets to see it?

In A.I., the story focuses on a young robot boy who tries to act human. Could technology actually grow jealous of humanity?
In A.I., the story focuses on a young robot boy who tries to act human. Could technology actually grow jealous of humanity?

The Future of Web Technology

I guess the best case scenario would be that next generation web technology would just allow companies to track buying habits and provide people will individual assistance for problems too unique for troubleshooting.

Maybe.

Like all forms of technology, web technology holds great potential for those who wield it properly. Many of the monotonous tasks we are forced to do daily can become automated, and life could potentially be made hands-free.

At the same time, advancing web technology can, (and probably will), be used against us, either by we ourselves, or by the technology itself.

It's just a matter of time to see which happen first.

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Comments 16 comments

docadvocate 7 years ago

nice hub,expecting more informative ones from you....


MistHaven profile image

MistHaven 7 years ago from New Jersey Author

Thanks, I'm glad you liked my hub on Web 2.0.


GrrrOwl profile image

GrrrOwl 7 years ago

sure, if people make bad decisions machines could too.

especially if they're made by us.

but would they be worse or would they be better?

that's up to us. if we could build decision makers incapable of genocide.. i think that would be an improvement right there.


MistHaven profile image

MistHaven 7 years ago from New Jersey Author

Interesting persepctive. The problem with Web 4.0 or A.I. having the ability to make decisions means they will always have the option to do horrible things like genocide. The only way to avoid that would be to prevent them from making decisions, but then they wouldn't be "alive" either.


netsight profile image

netsight 6 years ago

Web 3.0 technology as you say is probably to be a highly interactive medium in which your computers config ie the files, pics and vids and app's you store will all become a reflection of the type of life you lead.

You in essence have given you system a mirror personally of yourself and this could be utilized in some way so that your system could communicate your virtual personally to search engines and networking sites to enable relevant information to be served to you.

This could be achieved though AI, monitoring widgets and the like added to your system and developing a personally file, this would also lead well into web 4.0 maybe.

It baffles one to think of the privacy and security issues that could arise though I'd imagine say (2020 and beyond*) that technology and social attitudes to such interfacing would have matured to allow such functionalization.


MistHaven profile image

MistHaven 6 years ago from New Jersey Author

If the security and privacy issues of today are any indication, then things will only get worse as web technology develops. Especially if computers can record our surfing habits and what not. But I'm not too worried.


askjanbrass profile image

askjanbrass 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

A very interesting article, I like how you draw references to popular media (such as movies like Bladerunner and the Matrix). I always considered Web 2.0 to include some of the capabilities you list under Web 3.0. I thought Web 2.0 included aspects like highly interactive interfaces and collaborate working.


MistHaven profile image

MistHaven 6 years ago from New Jersey Author

Thanks for reading. From what I understand, Web 3.0 does share some functionality with its predecessor. But it's more about tailoring an online experience to a user's browsing habits. It still is in the very early stages, so it could evolve into something very different by the time it becomes the standard.


DevinG profile image

DevinG 6 years ago from Redlands

You know, we need to give more credit to the people that are actually capable of making things like web 3.0 and 4.0 even possible. What I mean to say is, that it is mighty impressive how a group (no matter how large) can collaborate together and come up with a program that can learn patterns (3.0) and even think for itself (4.0).

For a while now I have thought that I would die before seeing machines capable of thinking for themselves, but it is just around the corner. :| Let's just hope that we don't give the computers the master key to the world.

Good hub by the way! :D


MistHaven profile image

MistHaven 6 years ago from New Jersey Author

You're right, it's pretty amazing how far technology has advanced in such a "short" amount of time. I'm kind of surprised we don't have flying cars or machines that can do a day's work at the push of a button yet, lol.

But I think it's inevitable that computers will be given reins over the world. From an efficiency standpoint, it just makes the most sense. When it does happen, I hope we're ready for it...


Higgs 5 years ago

The accepted notion is that Web 3.0 will be more interactive than its predecesors."

Probably true.

"That is because it will learn about users and tailor searches and content to their interests. StumbleUpon is an example of a website using Web 3.0 technology. By utilizing a simple feature of rating whether users like or dislike a webpage, StumbleUpon is able to learn user patterns and bring about more relevant searches that the user will be more likely to enjoy."

That's web 2.0.

"Web 3.0 is the next logical step for web technology. It guarantees that every user will have a unique and intimate experience when surfing the Internet."

I think that will become true.

..."the web" will gather information about each person by recording and analyzing their Internet habits. Imagine logging onto a news website, and only getting the news that you're interested in, without having to manually search for it. "

That problem will be taken care of using web 2.0 technology.

"Instead of having to machete through web content that is useless to the user, "

This is one of the problems Web 3.0 attempts to address. It solves this not by trying to figure out what you want based on what you do as you have said, but rather attempts to make search engines understand the content on web sites so that you only get the news your interested in.

Web 3.0 is much more than that, but this is the only application you alluded to in your post. I'm not going to explain what web 3.0 is in detail, but the best way I can explain it now is that with web 3.0, computers will 'understand' relationships between the user generated content. For me, as I define intelligence as having to do in part with forming logical relationships between ideas, web 3.0 could be seen as the first steps towards AI.


rusikm profile image

rusikm 5 years ago from Bulgaria, EU

Good discription of differences between web 2.0 and web 3.0.


itech profile image

itech 5 years ago from New Delhi, India

Nice Compilation! I'm a programmer and once tried to prepare documentation on such software program that would likely to react as like humans (Artificial Intelligence) but instead of reaching actual target it took me in another world with a question "who we are?"... Hell! Ya.

But some peoples already got succeed in creating such small size program (Not much good and I lost it's url also during Firefox crash).


Shree 5 years ago

A nice and informative article to read. The differences between the web technologies have been explained well.


haqnawaz 5 years ago

Level 1 quote won't let us do direct trading right ? So my understanding is that we must take a note and then enter the buy/sell order manualy. I'm just aftraid that the price will fluctuate during that time, pls CMIIW, thanks.


elglaad 2 years ago

can I now tools about web 4

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