The Evolution of Web Technologies

Over the past few years, we have seen technology and the web develop over time to what we see it as today. We are beyond the times where web technologies are just client-server relationships and dial up was your method of internet (and it sucked when someone had to use the phone after you just connected!). Here’s where we’re at now – with more still very likely to follow from this in the future.

Web 2.0
Web 2.0 is where the development of web technologies begins, where there is a move away from the client-server side and a move towards a peer to peer relationship. The communication side of the web was the major change, where people have the ability to not just read the words on a webpage, but also write and share their thoughts too (making the web bi-directional). A key example is blogging, where I can write a post and you, the reader, can comment and share your thoughts.

Web 3.0
Following on from web 2.0 comes the third generation of the web in roughly 2006. Web 3.0 focuses on data linking and the relationship between humans and machines. In a nutshell, it’s the present generation of web technologies. Think of things like being able to connect to the internet anywhere, anytime on your phone. Being able to livestream what you’re doing now to someone on the other side of the world – and they can tune in with the touch of a button.

Web 3.0 consists of a few other areas of web technologies – two of which I will address below: Internet of things and artificial intelligence.

Internet of Things
The internet of things is simply the ability to connect various objects to the internet. Where many years ago you would just use your computer to connect to the internet, we now have the ability to connect our mobile phones, tablets and TVs to the web and do various things. We can take the internet wherever we go and stay connected with each other. It’s a lot easier to take my phone to the beach than it is to lug a computer around (lol).

Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) is the creation and development of technology to act and behave as humans do.  When I think of AI the first thing that comes to mind is chatbots like Cleverbot, and the ability we have to have a conversation with a computer. But AI is about so much more than that. Think about things like predictive text, where you can type a text message on your phone and it suggests various words that you may want to used based on words you have used previously, or speech recognition, where you can talk out your text message and it will type out what you say. Or using Siri to do a task on your phone instead of navigating your way to find what you want. The opportunities that come with the use of AI and developing technologies are endless.

Where to from here? Only time will tell as technology develops and what we do with it changes. What will future ‘generations’ of the web look like? Who knows. But at a guess, it will involve a lot more use of AI and maybe some other system someone is yet to invent. Who knows what the future of these technologies may hold….. But I’m excited to find out!

Works referred to:
The Relationship Between Web 2.0 and Social Networking
International Journal of Web & Semantic Technology
Evolution of the World Wide Web: From Web 1.0 to Web 4.0
Web 2.0 and beyond: Principles and technologies.

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