The web has been in existence for less than 5000 days according to this video is from Kevin Kelly, executive editor at Wired Magazine. He posed a rhetorical question that if people were to look introspectively 10 years ago, whether anyone would have predicted the emergence and pervasiveness of the internet. Therefore, the first lesson of the web is people “Have to get better in believing the impossible.”
With the emergence of convergence in technologies (IPTV, Mobile phones, etc.), he likens all these devices to be one giant machine that uses 5% of the world’s electricity with no downtime. The complexity of this giant machine is similar to the human brain, except every two years, the brain does not double its power. In the next 5000 days. this machine will go through change in its embodiment, restructuring and codependency. As posted in an earlier posts here, here, here and here mobile phones and other devices with screens are on the cusp of convergence. Many computer applications that were exclusively in the realm of the computer hard drive now have presence on the web. More can be read about this in an earlier post. Mr. Kelly predicts everything will become web-based. Products such as shoes (e.g. Nike ID+) already come embedded with computer chips, where data can be transferred to/from the product to the internet. Combining all the various devices and the reliance on the web, this machine now becomes the embodiment of the human. It now has the eyes, ears, speech and touch like the human.
In the beginning, the web was linked from machine to machine through packets of shared data. Today, the web is linked from page to page. People link to/from various pages constantly. To navigate around the web involves clicking on various links from one page to another. Currently, this system is currently undergoing change, and the web will become linked by data (idea to idea). An example of this change is there are a plethora of social networking sites, and for each new site the user wishes to join, he/she needs to identify his/her group of friends. Wouldn’t be better that whenever the user goes anywhere on the web, there is no need to ask for his/her friends again? This new trend of the web being restructured and linked by data is being implemented. Artificial intelligence like the Google search engine is becoming increasingly sophisticated and smarter, which facilitates this movement towards this technology. For additional reading, I had posted about this earlier.
Total personalization in this world will require total transparency. Due to content on demand, and the a search-based web, finding information or content that fits the users’ interests and needs, will require the user to divulge more personal information. Examples include: http://www.last.fm which plays music that is personalized to the taste of the user. I had posted about this phenomenon in earlier posts here and here.
As mankind has been dependent on the alphabet, the web will only be next. Mr. Kelly gave an example that sometimes, he does not need to remember information, he simply uses google to search it. As increasingly more applications are being web-based (web is now being more ubiquitous), the tendency to be co-dependent on this will occur.
Mr. Kelly espouses the idea that every object in the world will be somehow linked to the web. This will occur not in the next 5000 days, but at a much later time. Imagine sitting on a plane, and the physical book that you are reading is linked to the web. Other items can include: your seatbelt, seat, pillow, blanket, magazines, tray, TV set all are linked to the web.
This giant machine that is the sum of all things in the world and its operating system is the web, will influence people’s daily lives constantly. With the changes in the embodiment, restructuring and codependency of the web, people will become part of this giant machine.
I can see this trend happening as information that was once proprietary and had a monetary value attached to it is now free and easily searchable. Imagine having an all-encompassing worldwide library with no borders bounded by state or federal lines, and all of the world’s combined books, journals and other materials were easily accessible? The web has become this worldwide library. In the past, if someone moved to a new environment, it was difficult to meet new people and make new friends, right? Now, people can easily use the internet to search for special interests groups that fit their lifestyle and interests. They can join this groups and meet these new people.