Web 3.0 – Beyond the boundaries

May 19, 2009 by Doina


It is believed that once Web 3.0 is enacted, you will be able to find what you are looking for, using a search engine, just by typing relatively general questions like: "I want to see a thriller movie tonight". At present, search engines like Google can offer query results only by looking up keywords. This means that the engine searches the indexed web sites for keywords provided in the query - it doesn't really knows what it's looking for, just acts on some input data.

With Web 3.0, your browsing history and habits can be used by a personal assistant to provide you with the most relevant results. The more you search - the more the browser knows about you and your preferences and will get to provide you with instant relevant results for the most general questions. Well, nobody actually knows how this might happen, but a possible solution might be the Semantic web.
 
The Semantic web does not only scan the web for keywords, but also understands how those keywords are used in their context. This is done using software agents - programs that crawl the web, searching for and putting together relevant information. These agents can understand more than the current search engine robots because the Semantic web will include collections of information called ontologies. In Internet jargon, an ontology is a file that defines the terms of a specific domain and the relationships between them (for example, all the movie-related concepts). Although such ontologies will be deeply comprehensive and organized, an incipient form of such information exists in the tags created by humans for photos, articles, posts and anything else hosted on the web and part of social networks.
 
The Semantic web concept was introduced by the man who also created the first version of the Web, Tim Berners-Lee. In his view, ontologies would represent a type of metadata - information which exists in code of the web pages, invisible to humans, but accessible by computers. Such in-depth ontologies will require consistent work from numerous persons surfing the Internet. The tag habit is something ad-hoc, an activity guided by each person's interests. Will everybody put in the effort for building such extensive ontologies? Will they maintain them and update them constantly? 
 
These are pertinent questions, but maybe we won't have to ask them at all. As blogs and networks expand, people may find themselves doing the job without even knowing. And just as blindly, slip into web 3.0. Let's just hope that when the web knows everything about us, we'll know about it too.

Tags: Future  IT-Trends 


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