Web 3.0: Are we about to witness the fourth industrial revolution?
Executive Education / 8 January 2020
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Product Manager Professional & Executive Education
Shinu Sara Ottenburger is a product manager in Frankfurt School’s Professional & Executive Education department. She designs continuing education programmes relating to IT & Digitalisation.

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The day the first website went live in 1991 was hailed as the birth of the World Wide Web. The whole world celebrated web pages, even though they were still static and more like posters than publications. They even lacked links, being distributed more or less randomly across the Internet – and yet ultimately, they revolutionised information flows worldwide. In view of the latest technologies and opportunities which have evolved from those early web pages, we now ask: Will the new decade usher in a fourth industrial revolution?

The interactive web

1999 saw the first mentions of Web 2.0 and the interactive revolution. By then, web publishers were able to offer users dynamic content in responsive formats that could also be accessed by mobile devices. And for the first time, users could also create their own content, using tools like WordPress to design and build their own websites.

This period also saw the first peer-to-peer interactivity – to share data, you no longer had to put physical disks in envelopes and mail them to people. Before long, e-commerce started to flourish, closely followed by social media. From this moment on, the Internet’s appeal was no longer confined to a small cross-section of the population; it became universally accessible to everyone, including non-technical audiences.

From blogging to tagging, from networking to podcasting – the Internet appears to have opened up endless opportunities for all.

Endless opportunities?

As well as interoperability, Web 2.0 represented a major step forward in visual appearance and usability. Front ends were given a general overhaul. But now, 20 years later, Web 2.0 is beginning to show its limitations. These are mainly evident at the back end, meaning the processes that users never get to see. These weak points are primarily associated with activities such as micro-payments, sales of advertisements and data, and value transfers.

Consequently, experts believe that the very latest developments will precipitate a kind of fourth industrial revolution – from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0. But what are the key elements in this transformation?

Artificial Intelligence – the Internet becomes self-configuring

Web 3.0 is also known as the “semantic Web”. It operates logically, making connections between meanings and contexts. AI and machine learning are closely associated with this transformative development. In the future, machines will be capable of “thinking” about information and drawing conclusions. Not only will they display matching keywords – they will also offer users added value by providing specific contextual details.

As trends and developments clearly show: People who jump on this fast-moving bandwagon will guarantee themselves a position at the forefront of the digital transformation. If you already have some programming experience and would like to learn more about Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, our Certified Expert in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence certification course is what you need. For further details of and more information on our other professional development courses, please visit our website.

Blockchain technology is another topic that will soon be on the agenda. Today’s data monarchies, where all our valuable information is stored on central servers, are about to become distributed democracies. Instead of losing control of our data and being obliged to blindly trust the people who are managing it, we should soon find ourselves in an altogether more secure environment.

So while it may be less eye-catching, Web 3.0 represents a profound restructuring of the Internet’s hidden depths – redefining data security, contractual agreements and value exchanges.