The defining characteristics of the Internet, as it developed between 1995 and 2009, are:
- online communications are part of the daily life of Internet users (including instant messaging)
- remote work is possible
- free access to information
- e-commerce (online purchases)
- Internet is fast and accessible (allowing multimedia content)
- mp3 paved the road to all-digital all-online content
- Open Source software plays an important role
- a large variety of free online services
- development of search engines
- cybercrimes (malware) are widespread
- Person to Person Lending Marketplace
- TV Channels/Videos/Audios/Telephones
- LazyHTTP/etc.. (AJAX/Comet)
- Online Office Tools
- Social News/Tag
- Social Bookmarks
- Social Exchange of Information such Wikipedia
- Citizen journalism (Blogging)
- Internet Interaction
- Social Networking
- p2p lending, p2p charity, p2p insurance
- The possibility to search inside videos, audios
- Free Education to everyone from universities with videos and presentations.
- Natural Language Processing Search Engines
- ChaCha.com like web site, people helping other people to search and answer questions
- The revolution of Intelligent Agents on internet, forums, communities, gaming networks.
- Metaverse, multiverse
- Simulated Reality and How far Avatars can go
- Users open protocols like OpenID
- Long Life Videos
- Simulism and Simulated Reality (probably interface for that) I think this is the biggest application of all time for programming.
- Social Patents, Social Business Plans, Social Patients, Social Problems.
Some important keywords for the future of internet as of the year 2009:
The metaweb, AI Engine, AI Matrix, e-society, Wikipedia 3.0, Inference Engine, Web 3.0, mass psychology, cult psychology, Wikipedia+AI, P2P Semantic Web Inference Engine, Intelligent Findability, Semantic Blog, Info Agent, P2P AI, Web 3.0 concepts, Semantic MediaWiki, P2P 3.0, Web 3.0 definition, oWL, Ambient Findability, P2P, SemanticWeb, Culture Wars, Startup, web standards, society, Google, innovation, Trends, Meaning, Semantic Web, Prediction markets, National Security Agency, The Matrix, ontology, findability, RDF, internet governance, Artificial Intelligence, AI.
The web started out as mostly static documents (Web 1.0). In the 1990s it became more dynamic, making possible the portals, e-commerce and first online services (Web 1.5).
In the early 2000s, after a decade-long history, a transition started from the "old Web" to Web 2.0 (see also ). This means more active and interactive web-applications, more advanced social networking tools and increasing connections between different kinds/sources of data. This web was promiment around the year 2007. Currently, the Web has been going into another transition to Web 3.0, which is the internet in a more seamless environment. The internet will begin to spread out to other devices such as the automobile and the television. The internet will also try to "get to know you" and start suggesting you queries that are based on your previous searches and your interests.
The future ideal goal is the transparent integration of desktop and the Internet and transparent device-independent ubiquitous computing.
Semantic Web is a somewhat more advanced direction related to the infrastructure of the Net, with a larger emphasis on machine understanding of pieces of data.
- The present future (kottke.org) - a discussion of the future Web (S/N ratio is rather low, though)
- Online access gradually becomes as vital as oxygen to modern people.
Changes of Degree
We can predict simple changes of 'degree' with regard to the internet:
- Higher bandwidth
- More video and audio content
- Perhaps holographic content.
We can predict some future services:
- Super search engines that 'Write a book to order'. You dial in your requirements, and review the results. If you want something more detailed, with more or fewer diagrams, more serious, more humerous, you can request it.
Existing systems allow some of this functionality (in a very rough form): Pertinence can summarize pages that Google finds for you and Ultimate Research Assistant can write a web research report, BrainBoost can answer direct questions using web search.
Effects of the Internet
The social effects of the internet could be profound:
- In Jared Diamond's book "Guns Germs and Steel" the success of human societies is directly traced back to innovation and technology, which in turn is shown to depend on the size of community contributing. Isolated communities get taken over. With the intent geographical proximity is no longer an important factor in innovation. The implications are complex and need to be examined.
Control Of Information
The information available on the internet may be subject to governmental control - China, for example, blocks certain sites. It is clear also that Google serves up different pages depending on your location. A user in Berlin will get different pages to a user in Boston.
There are good reasons for censorship of information - one must question the use to which someone looking for material on making bombs, poisons and explosives would put that information. Censorship of such information is not new. The 'Penguin Book of Explosives' is no longer in print, though allegedly it contained excellent detailed information on bomb making.
With the internet, censorship is much harder. A once popular T shirt design showed detailed plans for building an atomic bomb, allegedly downloaded from the internet. Where censorship cannot be achieved, careful programs of misinformation may fill the gap.
- Some material on the internet about 'Red Mercury' a material allegedly suitable for making nuclear munitions the size of a biro, appears to be related to 'stings' from around ten years ago to detect and flush out would-be terrorists with deep pockets.
- Similar 'stings' have been successfully completed with anthrax spores of a kind dangerous to animals but not humans.
add more here, especially links to techniques. Data mining is... Lel
Google's Data Mining Advantage
Google makes significant revenue from their advertising. Perhaps even more valuable to Google is the detailed information they have on what information people are looking for. Consider the Rubic cube, rollerblading, the next Harry Potter. The financial implications of being able to detect a Craze before others are aware of it is huge.
Google are currently at an early stage of learning how to harness internet data mining for their own recruitment purposes. From programs they run such as 'Summer of Code', it is not difficult to predict that if Google plays its cards right, within a few decades it will have most of the very best young hackers in the world working for it.
- Google is able to find these computer whizz kids earlier than other organisations can.
- It is also better able to analyse what motivates them to take up a particular job.
The Scenario: Google as God extrapolates developments at the search engines to an extreme. After allowing for the 'need to tell a good story' in a scenario, one can anticipate significant AI research taking place on the google data base.