Ten pivotal personalities involved with the evolving of the Internet weigh in on the last fifteen years and the future. Here are some excerpts:
SIR TIM BERNERS LEE:
…What’s exciting is that people are building new social systems, new systems of review, new systems of governance. My hope is that those will produce… new ways of working together effectively and fairly which we can use globally to manage ourselves as a planet.
PROFESSOR NIGEL SHADBOLT:
…The future is the Semantic web, or web 3.0. Rather than at the moment what you have to do is do some smart searching, and integrate through a lot of documents that are offered up to you, Web 3.0 will be able to do a lot of that information brokering for you.
PROFESSOR WENDY HALL:
…Everything is going mobile. And I think the big issue about access was you need a computer at the moment to access it properly. Well in the next two or three years that’s not going to be the case. You will be able to access it. The technology and the interfaces will change so that it’s much more accessible on a mobile device.
…To we make sure the web continues to properly, democratically capture what most people believe we tune into the wisdom of the crowd, rather than being manipulated by fewer number who may have louder voices.
DR DAVID BELANGER:
…I think that the big challenge that the web has, much as the internet has faced before and is still facing, is the sheer diversity of the number of types of applications that want to run on it.
…In 15 years the web will be everywhere; in ways we don’t know. The web in that sense will be informational and the presentation of information will be in a way “we” like it.
…It’s is going to become a very refined electronic community and a set of communities that will operate at many different levels; individual interests as well as broad social efforts.
…In much less than 15 years I think we need to figure out what the social impact is going to be of the Semantic web. I am not sure this is a good thing. I don’t know who is controlling it. And because it works by ontologies, who decides on what basis I am going to see things?
…Everything is moving so fast. If you look at what I am doing with my cell phone now, transmitting live video around the world, that’s really different from just five months ago.
…We are connected now to this network of devices and computers and they augment our intelligence and our ability to share, to communicate, and we as a culture are changing as a result. It’s the most profound change since the advent of literacy. And it’s bigger than the industrial revolution. We are on the front of a new renaissance; and that doesn’t mean all good things, there could be a lot of bad things there too.