Europe to lead Web 3.0?

October 7, 2008 at 12:23 pm 4 comments

Outside the European Commission

Image via Wikipedia

This is indeed the aim of the European Commission which has just launched a public consultation on web 3.0 “the internet of things” (IoT). The consultation is part of the Commission’s preparations for a communication on IoT which is due to be released in the 3rd quarter of 2009. According to the Commission the communication plans to “propose a policy approach addressing the whole range of political and technological issues related to the move from RFID and sensing technologies to the Internet of Things”.

So what is Web 3.0 and can the European Commission really be at the cutting edge of it? According to Wikipedia, Web 3.0 is “the term used to describe the evolutionary stage that follows Web 2.0”. That as much as probably obvious to most. The term Web 3.0, also known at the “semantic web” was first coined by Tim Berners-Lee who created the internet in 1989 while working at CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research). Nova Spivack a proponent of Web 3.0 who also prefers the term “semantic web” describes Web 3.0 as an attempt to overhaul the internet so that it actually understands the infinite amount of information contained within it and can make links between it. An Internet with a brain perhaps?

The ideas about what Web 3.0 will consist of include:

  • ubiquitious connectivity e.g. broadband for mobile devices
  • increased interoperability of web services
  • “intelligent applications” i.e. the use of artificial intelligence to develop web applications that “almost think like humans”

However, Wikipedia goes on to say that there is as yet no agreement on what the next stage of internet evolution will be….

The European Commission would like Europe to be at the cutting edge of the next evolution of the internet, which is no doubt why it is trying to get into the game early with the recently launched consultation. The policy documents published with the Consultation include a Communication on Future networks and the Internet and a staff working paper on early challenges regarding the Internet of things. It will be interesting to see who responds to this consultation and in particular if it attracts the key protagonists of Web 3.0.

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