Tuesday, May 28, 2024
HomeAIFrom AI assistants to Big Tech breakup: World Wide Web inventor’s top predictions...

From AI assistants to Big Tech breakup: World Wide Web inventor’s top predictions as it turns 35

Personal artificial intelligence aides that are well familiar with our medical and legal histories. The capacity to move data from one location to another effortlessly and without interruption.  

These are just a few of the predictions for the future of the web from Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, on the 35th anniversary of its creation.  

Berners-Lee is credited with creating the world-changing invention in 1989 while working at CERN, the Swiss particle physics research facility.  

The London-born computer scientist proposed an information management system to let his colleagues share knowledge among themselves.  

Berners-Lee persuaded CERN in 1993 to make the Web protocol and source code available to the public free of patents and fees. Berners-Lee has credited the web’s rapid success to this decision.  

Berners-Lee recalls what it was like when the web first began 35 years ago. “When it started, I couldn’t have predicted that it was going to be like this, this change,” he told CNBC at the time. 

However, he could see early signals that the web was going to grow significantly. Traffic to the initial website, info.cern.ch, “was going up by a factor of 10 every year, so doubling every four months.”  

“We lost track of the logs because they cut off,” Berners-Lee explains. “This is going to be a major thing. We have to make sure it does not collapse.” 

Berners-Lee sees some of the drawbacks that have emerged throughout the decades since the web’s inception. For one thing, social media feeds designed by AI algorithms have left individuals “angry, upset, or hateful,” he claims.  

Meanwhile, the ease of creating material on social media platforms and launching new websites and blogs has resulted in “disempowerment” for individuals and organizations, as well as a loss of data ownership, he adds. 

Despite this, Berners-Lee remains optimistic about the future. Here are his top predictions for how the internet will look in the next 35 years.  

One of Berners-Lee’s major forecasts is that AI will change the way we interact with the web.  

With the introduction of generative AI tools like as Microsoft-backed OpenAI’s ChatGPT, tech companies expect customers to become much more engaged with digital chatbots to obtain information and help them develop textual materials and even code.  

There are already companies attempting to rethink how we will interact with the web using AI-powered gadgets, such as Samsung’s Galaxy S24 smartphone and United States-based startup Humane AI’s wearable Pin.  

Berners-Lee believes that one day, we will have AI assistants who work for us, just like our doctors, attorneys, and bankers.  

“Some people are concerned about whether AI will be more powerful than humans in 35 years,” Berners-Lee told CNBC via Zoom video chat last week.  

“One of the things I predict — but it’s something we may have to fight for — is you will have an AI assistant, which you can trust, and it works for you, like a doctor,” Berners-Lee said in an interview.  

Robert Blumofe, Akamai’s worldwide chief technology officer, believes that the web will no longer be something that humans utilize, and that AI agents will take over on our behalf.  

“You can imagine a world years from now where the web is a realm of AI agents and humans can no longer effectively use the web,” Blumofe told CNBC in an interview last week.  

“It would all be done through AI agents; you would never go directly to your bank account online, or your health provider online, or any e-commerce sites.”  

Akamai was formed in response to a challenge Berners-Lee issued at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in early 1995 to develop a new method of delivering online material to end users more quickly

Blumofe continues to believe that we will seek entertainment online, such as television series, movies, and video games. However, he believes that AI will eventually oversee many of our daily web duties.  

“Human beings can go back to our lives in the physical world greeting each other face to face as a physical experience, rather than a virtual experience,” he went on to say.  

Berners-Lee also predicts a web in which all users have complete control over their data.  

Rather than handing over control of our data to Google, Meta, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and other tech behemoths, we’ll be able to own it through a data repository, or “pod.”  

“You’ll think of your data pod as your digital space, you’ll think of it as being one thing you’re very comfortable with,” she says.  

Berners-Lee’s startup Inrupt is developing a technology known as pods.  

Inrupt is developing the Solid protocol, which “aims to radically change the way Web applications work today, resulting in true data ownership as well as improved privacy.”  

In 2022, the company raised $30 million from venture capital firms such as Forte Ventures, Akamai, and Glasswing Venture.  

Berners-Lee’s vision for the future web allows you to use your digital pod to access all of your key applications, such as email, from your phone, laptop, desktop computer, and larger screens like as TVs.  

Berners-Lee went on to say that he envisions a series of “trust apps” that can speak with one another in order to share information and complete crucial tasks more quickly.  

Take, for example, purchasing airfare. Berners-Lee expects that the future online experience will be one in which you can use your wallet to buy flights from a flight aggregator and then give it access to the data you trust it with to make preparations for what to do when you arrive.  

“All of your to do lists, calendar events and so on, and all the different parts of your data, will come together, so the ability to live your life becomes much more powerful.”  

Chintan Patel, chief technology officer for software firm Cisco in the United Kingdom, believes the web will eventually evolve into a more open space where knowledge can be easily exchanged.  

“Even though we have seen increasingly the web becoming a little fragmented with more siloed platforms — more information is collected, sold, even misused in many cases,” Patel went on to say.  

However, he pointed out that OpenAI’s ChatGPT, as well as several other prominent generative AI tools, rely on open-source data.  

“For all its faults, the web has brought way more benefits to society and made many more things possible,” Patel went on to say.  

Berners-Lee expects that his vision for the web will expand to include virtual and mixed reality, in which the physical and digital worlds interact via powerful headsets.  

“You can go do things with a VR headset, and then when you take the VR headset off, you could do it with a huge screen,” he told me. “And whenever you move, you can take your phone and have the same experience. It should transition seamlessly between devices. 

Mixed reality is a new dimension for browsing the web, which experts believe we will become accustomed to over time.  

“There’s going to be some great shifts happening in terms of some serious digital connectivity,” Chintan Patel, chief technology officer for corporate tech firm Cisco in the UK, told CNBC in an interview.  

“It will be called by then some form of spatial computing and spatial environment which won’t be something we are looking for, but an immersive experience delivered to us.”  

Mixed reality is a new dimension for browsing the web, which experts believe we will become accustomed to over time.  

Last week, the European Union’s historic Digital Markets Act (DMA), which requires internet companies to modify their platforms to allow competitor products to thrive, went into effect, in a significant move that advocates hope would lead to a stronger tech competition landscape.  

If a technology company fails to meet its DMA duties, the European Commission has the authority to impose severe legal consequences. This includes sanctions of up to 10% of a company’s global yearly revenue, or 20% for repeat offenders.  

In severe circumstances, the Commission may order the dissolution of corporations — though most antitrust attorneys believe such an outcome is unlikely given the legal challenges Brussels may encounter.  

Berners-Lee stated that he always likes it when technology businesses “do the right thing by themselves” before regulators intervene. “That’s always been the spirit of the internet.”  

He mentions the Data Transfer movement as an example, a private movement that began in 2018 and is now supported by companies such as Google, Apple, and Meta to promote the portability of images, videos, and other data between platforms.  

“Maybe the companies were prompted a bit by the possibility of regulation,” Berners-Lee said in a statement. “But this was an independent thing.”  

However, he continued, “Things change so quickly. Artificial intelligence is rapidly evolving. There are monopolies in artificial intelligence. Monopolies changed rather quickly on the web.”  

“Maybe at some point in the future, agencies will have to work to break up big companies, but we don’t know which company that will be,” Berners-Lee said in a statement.  

Berners-Lee persuaded CERN in 1993 to release the Web protocol and source code into the public domain, free of patents and fees. This decision, according to Berners-Lee, was important in the web’s meteoric rise.  

Berners-Lee recalls what it was like when the web first appeared 35 years ago. “When it started, I couldn’t have predicted that it was going to be like this, this change,” he was quoted as saying by CNBC. 

However, he could see early signals that the web was going to grow significantly. Traffic to the initial website, info.cern.ch, “was going up by a factor of 10 every year, so doubling every four months.”  

“We lost track of the logs because they cut off,” Berners-Lee explains. “This is going to be a major thing. We have to make sure it does not collapse.” 

RELATED ARTICLES

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments