Straight From the Tech Experts: What Will the Defining Feature of Web 3.0 Be?
Web 3.0 is on the horizon, but what exactly will it bring? Experts discuss their thoughts on the future of the web.
With Web 3.0 slated as the new paradigm in web interaction and how people interact online, there’s a lot of thought and speculation as to what we’ll truly take away as the underlying benefit of Web 3.0.
When we think about the upward direction Web 3.0 is going from Web 2.0, there’s much to be excited about. Web 1.0 was our first experience with the World Wide Web, which was entirely made up of web pages connected by hyperlinks. Web 2.0 moved static pages to a more interactive and dynamic web experience where people could speak and share information online with social media outlets, blogging and web-based communities.
But there’s also a lot of speculation out there about what exactly Web 3.0 will become. And maybe more importantly, when we look back, what will be the one true benefit that people will think of first?
Web 3.0 will eventually be defined, but until then, wouldn’t it be interesting to hear from the tech experts and consider their thoughts on the future of Web 3.0?
We reached out and asked them to do just that.
Here’s what they said.
My best guess will be security. With all the finger-pointing going on about foreign collusion in US elections, "fake" news, and inflammatory social media posts, I think that some larger service to verify users' identities will be a hallmark attribute of the Web 3.0. The APIs for verifying user identity with government-issued identification cards are enterprise ready and will be leveraged to create an internet landscape with much more credibility. People will still spout out their opinions, but they'll have to start doing it under their real names.
A Shared and Privacy-Enabled Internet Experience
Web 3.0 will be a return to the human centered approach. Personal data is the new asset class and with GDPR – the General Data Protection Regulation – data ownership has irreversibly been given to the end user. And there goes the huge databases from Web 2.0 where big tech companies to a large [extent] could privatize the economic value of personal data.
With Web 3.0, personal information storage will become much more decentralized. We already see platform companies providing users with secure encrypted personal data libraries from which the user can share data with the companies they trust and want to interact with on a case-by-case basis. This will also have the implication that in order for companies to gain permission to use the end user's data, they will need to focus much more on their online databrand, i.e. the trustworthiness, likeability, brand proposition, USPs, user-friendliness, convenience, IT security and transparency.
With Web 3.0, we will experience a shared and privacy-enabled internet, which among other things will be accelerated by the “Internet of (every)Things.” The successful websites of Web 3.0 will be be permeated by an optimized databrand.
—Mads Hennelund, Business Consultant, Nextwork A/S
Data Privacy & Remuneration
What marks the difference between Web 2.0 (interactivity and distribution) into Web 3.0 is that data privacy and remuneration is becoming a first-level concern. The defining features of Web 3.0 will be that:
- Base-layer protocols, previously under-remunerated in favor of applications, will capture increasing value.
- Monetary and token transfers will be designed so that people are incentivized to participate and give value to the network.
- Data sharing between parties will be as modular as possible in order to grant individual parties ownership over their own data.
Chatbots & Virtual Assistants
As far as I'm concerned, Web 3.0 basically involves serving only the best, most relevant content to the right person, at the right time. The problem with Web 2.0 was that it's based on keywords, not semantics. So, a search engine's ability to uncover context isn't exactly perfect.
That's where chatbots or intelligent virtual assistants come in. Unlike search engines, you can "talk" to them. So, they can bridge the gap between user intent and keyword identification to get a much better understanding of context. Once a user's "true" context is established, brands can do a much better job of serving the right content to them.
For example: Rather than use a search engine to find information based on what you think are the right keywords, Web 3.0 will allow you to express your intent to an assistant bot, which can then use natural language processing to help understand the context.
That means better consumer insights for brands and a better overall customer experience for users; totally a win-win.
(We asked IT pros how enterprises will use chatbots in the future: Here’s what they said.)
Senses, Brains and Voices of Information
Web 1.0 was static pages of information. Web 2.0 was dynamic pages of information. Web 3.0 would be the senses, brains, and voices of information.
As coined by web scholars, Web 3.0 is the next fundamental change in how websites are created and how we interact with them. In the latest digital revolution, we are witnessing the rise and normalization of IoT, AI and cloud computing. With every next big feature, trend, application and daily product, we see more and more integration of virtual assistants which observes the human life, stores data, learns the trends and assist our daily life.
With IoT, every other product/machine would be connected to web and cloud computing would act as a base to store and interact with this data. With the semantic web, the human search experience tends to change as now the web would be more meaning optimized rather than keyword optimized. And AI would help to analyze and use this data to become brain and voice.
So the next big WWW would be the embodiment of the smart technology. In a science fictional term, it would take up more of a human form, of course, a virtual one, but an inevitable one. Internet would interact with humans as if it’s also a human who is capable of learning, thinking and voicing itself. It would occupy a space in human life like never before, and that’s not just a science-fiction dream anymore.
Using Chatbots to Communicate Our Needs Online
The defining characteristic of Web 3.0 will be no longer relying on the browser to interact on the internet. With the advancement of AI, we have the ability to use chat bots on Slack, voice commands on Alexa, and a host of IoT devices to surf the web for us to get the information we need without having to go find it ourselves. The web will still need to be built out, but UIs will evolve from heavy websites to learn conversational interfaces, VR and AR devices, and other forms of communication that are intuitive to everyday life, rather than confined to a rectangular browser window on a laptop or mobile phone.
As an AR/VR innovator, I think that one of the most important features of the Web 3.0 will be immersiveness. Internet will stop being a 2D place on a screen and will be a set of information and environments we will be in, in augmented or virtual reality.
WebXR will be the Web 3.0, allowing us to enter completely the cyberspace. I think we’ll struggle to separate augmented reality from real world experiences. When we use augmented reality every day, our vision will include virtual elements that will augment the real world. Some of them will be taken from the web, but won’t be viewed through a browser, but will be like widgets that will live as part of our new mixed reality world.
We are just at the very beginning of this transformation: On smartphones, it’s now possible to see 3D elements in the real world through a web page widget, plus there are current websites built entirely for virtual reality. The more we go on, the more these new technologies will be exploited.
(Want to brush up on your augmented reality knowledge? Read Augmented Reality 101.)
The Way We Value Data
The most fundamental change that will occur with Web 3.0 is the way we value data. Currently, data is truly valued only by certain companies that have managed to monetize it, and generally it’s only valued for advertising purposes. In Web 3.0, the currency of data – whether it’s personal, financial or environmental – will power new economic models that are yet to be fully conceived.
For example: Within sustainable social, environmental and economic development, data is a big problem. Project funders can’t assess whether the money they invest is having a measurable impact. Legacy data is locked in centralised silos, with no compatibility or interoperability. Plus, it has been very difficult to prove the fidelity of the data that does exist.
Web 3.0 will bring new levels of transparency to all manner of industries. For sustainable social, environmental and economic development, it’ll enable all measurable changes that have an impact, like the reforestation of land or the protection of endangered species, to be transformed into verified impact data with crypto-economic proof of impact.
This can then be used to measure, evaluate and improve the impact that different projects have and establish new marketplaces for the “Impact Economy.”