Introduction to the Internet and its definitions

Internet is a large system that connects multiple servers and systems of computers, and mobile phones globally. Internet as per its definition is described as “networks of networks” that serve as crucial elements when it comes to communication between two distinct resources in the digital world. The conformations of the internet have always helped to transform day-to-day communication with every aspect that inclines us towards modern living.

World Wide Web is simply in common terms is pile of pages which are interconnected among each other and follow protocols called HTTP for communicating data between servers and clients. The World Wide Web referred to as the Web, is one of the subsets of the Internet that monitors and mediates interaction between users like us and the digital content available dynamically.

With the advancement in technology standards and user behaviour web is evolving and every time with the addition of new features it emerges as the new version. In this article, we will delve into the latest and most intelligent version of the web now i.e. Web 4.0 and consider it as the next evolutionary and significant step in the growth and development of the internet. Web 4.0 is still in the conceptual stage which means it has not yet been released, however, it is believed that the commencement of Web 4.0 could involve building AI tools of advanced level that turn out to be more responsive and intelligent.

Web 4.0 is also known as the “Intelligent Web”, it will be distinct from other web versions in multiple parameters such as collaborative performance, user-friendly interactions, machine-driven executions and many more. it is featured with development from the static era to the dynamic era with a change in traditional web pages. Moreover, it is often said that Web 4.0 will comprise intelligent agents which will be capable of understanding user preferences and providing service accordingly. Web 4.0 is in its developing stage says that with the emergence and evolution of Web 4.0 will process giant data in huge amounts in unstructured form. Web 4.0 will be going to comprehend complexities in a more advanced version than Web 3 or the old web versions. Web 4.0 has another name “Symbiotic Web” and as per this meaning, Web 4.0 mainly emphasizes the mutual relation between the user and systems. Symbiosis essentially means when two objects possess a mutually beneficial relationship with each other, On translating it here, Symbiosis Web refers to the long-term goal of technology where humans interact closely with machines and will be going to encourage each other and help in their existence. The purpose behind this Symbiotic Web is to involve and build connections between humans and machines such that at a certain level, even the machine can be as intuitive enough as the human mind. It’s a vision of the web that is not only about connectivity or information exchange but also about creating a harmonious and interdependent digital ecosystem.

History of evolution of Web and its versions

WEB 1.0

  1. WEB 1.0 (Static web): As the name suggests, static web was used to deliver consumer with the content exactly the same as uploaded by the content creator. Later this static character of web got a code name of WEB 1.0 Web 1.0 was a “read-only” web. The basic core for this web was community governance, decentralization of networks, creation and contribution of content for the web.
  2. HTTP, SMTP, FTP, IRC and SMS were the open protocols which made a foundation stone for Web 1.0. These protocols were crucial as anyone can easily work with them and make the content for the web Web 1.0 is the term used to describe the earliest form of the internet which sets the first example of a “global network”, which showed the potential for future digitalisation of Information sharing and communication.
  3. This Web 1.0 was created in 1991 by TIM BERNERS LEE who is an English computer scientist best known for invention of the HTML markup language, the URL system, and HTTP along with WORLD WIDE WEB being his most famous invention. It was known as “static web” or “read only web” as it had no visuals, controls, forms and interactivity. It was all about web pages which are connected to a system with the help of hyperlinks.
  • In 1993, the web became available to the public and lead to Rapid increase in website that were created.
  • By Early 1995, over a million websites were available and this growth continued throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s.
  1. But as the time forwarded some limitations of this static web came towards the light: Stateless: If a user visited a website, the creator or the producer had no way of knowing that the user had visited the website before. In simple words, web 1.0 couldn’t capture or record any user data or state. No standard protocols: There was no standard protocol for web 1.0 which could power the website. The protocols such as payment gateways, search, and social media give power to the web.
  2. Strong technical expertise: The web 1.0 required a strong technical background or expertise which made it difficult for regular people and they were being cut off to a large extent. But, the vision for internet was to allow anyone to build and contribute to the web and thus, advancing the course of global networking which led to the creation of WEB 2.0

Web 2.0

  1. The Creation of most important COOKIE: (HTTP COOKIE) To overcome one of the first limitations of web 1.0, which was being STATELESS.
  2. As discussed earlier, web 1.0 was unable to capture state or user data and could not convey any data related to the user to web developer such as if the end user had previously visited the website or not and it was being difficult for a web developer to know the demographic of the end user, which meant you could not build products or services specifically targeted for your end users.
  3. In first attempt of solving this limitation of capturing state or user data, LOU MONTULLI, a computer programmer came up with the invention of HTTP cookie with which developer can tell if the user had visited a website previously or not.
  4. And, with this invention, now that we were being able to capture user state the Web transitioned into Web 2.0.
  5. Web 2.0 often being referred to as “read and write” web, spans from early 2000s to current period. The the word web 2.0 was first given by DARCY DiNucci, a technology strategist.
  6. The nature of the web changed from being static to being more dynamic with the transition from web 1.0 to web 2.0. Now the focus has moved from a small number of people making large amounts of content to a large amount of people making even more content. The experience of individuals drastically changed, as the internet emphasized on the ease of use, participation and interactivity, and compatibility with other devices and systems.
  7. The key feature of web 2.0 is that –
    • It became user friendly and allows user to easily create and share content online. The content being shared on web 2.0 was blogs, social media posts, user-generated videos and images.
    • Not only easy content creation, but web 2.0 has also made marketing and online business easy for the users.
  8. But in all these major wins and advancements of web 2.0, there are some major challenges one of which is the movement away from the main reason why the web existed in the first place That is, open cyber space where everyone could contribute without control or gate Keeping from powerful individual’s organization and government.
  9. The core of web 2.0 is centralization and it the reason why most internet traffic goes through a network of a few large Corporations, this makes it possible for these companies to determine the course of users on the web Some of the challenges and limitations of web 2.0 are lack of privacy, power and control, monopolistic behavior, ownership and monetization of apps.
  10. Some of the large companies such as Facebook, Google, Twitter begin storing users’ data in their servers in order to make better content. the main reason should be to keep users experience to the highest quality but in reality, the user’s data is being sold to the advertisers and this is where web 3.0 comes in.

WEB 3.0

  1. THE FUTURE The inventor of world wide web TIM LEE, originally called web 3.0 as “semantic web “as it was conceived as a more autonomous, intelligent and open Internet. Web 3.0 is often described as read, write and execute. The open internet, we are talking about would involve AI and ML which would process content like a “global brain” with all data being connected in a way that is contextual and conceptual, but this didn’t work as planned because Tech just wasn’t at the right place.
  2. In web 3.0, users can interact in a decentralized way, but with security. From money to information, all exchanges are conducted without the need of tech companies, banks, or any other middleman so if web 2.0 makes the user a product, web 3.0 makes the user the content owner.
  3. Basically, the goal of web 3.0 is to make the internet more intelligent, personalized and responsive to users need, and to achieve this, Artificial Intelligence and Big Data are being used to create a semantic web that understands the meaning of information on internet and this will allow for more appropriate search result, better recommendation and more personalized experience to the users. The web 3.0 has shown the potential to transform the internet into a much more powerful and useful tool for everyone, from a developer to the end core user. With the help of Web 3.0, it is now possible for devices to interact with each other directly without the need for human intervention.

Difference in Web 4.0 from Web 3.0

Let’s explore the disparities between Web 3.0 and Web 4.0.

Web 3.0 (Semantic Web)

  1. Decentralization: Often termed the “semantic web,” Web 3.0 aims for a more decentralized, open-source, and immersive online experience. It facilitates user participation, content creation, and ownership without dependence on intermediaries.
  2. Blockchain Infrastructure: Web 3.0’s infrastructure relies on the blockchain—a public ledger—allowing trustless interactions among users without reliance on a central authority.
  3. Monetization and Ownership: In contrast to Web 2.0, where platforms profit from user-generated content, Web 3.0 empowers users to monetize their data and retain ownership of their contributions.
  4. Elements: Web 3.0 integrates decentralization, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality (AR/VR), and ubiquity.

Web 4.0 (Intelligent Web)

Web 4.0 is way more decentralization and integration with Machines-

  1. It has Higher Decentralization: where Web 4.0 extends decentralization further, aiming for a simpler and more integrated internet connected to human thinking and cognition, without precise definition.
  2. It comprises features of Cerebral Web where Some sources suggest Web 4.0 will be more “cerebral” as it involves deep learning indicating a deeper connection between human minds and the digital realm.

Web 4.0, Mentioned by Elon Musk and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, Web FOUR, a meme coin, humorously reflects the concept of the next internet iteration. While not directly addressing Web 4.0’s technical aspects, Web four promotes accessible decentralization¹.

Web 3.0 Critique: Musk and Dorsey argue that Web 3.0 lacks true decentralization and primarily serves venture capitalists (VCs), citing ongoing capital concentration issues.

Advantages of Web 4.0

Web 4.0 is still in its infancy stage but has impacted on a vast range over internet. In the future, even more changes will likely be made to make the web even more user-friendly and interactive than it is today!

Web 4.0 is defined by the transitions from the earlier static pages to new and dynamic advancements. It is referred to as Intelligent Web and it is just a new step in the evolution of internet. Some of its key features are –

  • Artificial Intelligence – With the new definition of Web 4.0, AI has been introduced in it, Web 4.0 will include natural language processing and machine learning where machine will be trained in way as to behave like human brains and make a user-friendly environment. These features will be going to provide more personalized content.
  • Internet of things – One of the advanced versions of web where the internet will likely integrate with IoT, where accessibility is uplifted, and it will be allowing web applications to interact with a multitude of connected devices at a single time like mobile phones, laptops or any other digital devices.
  • Decentralization – Block chaining is another feature associated with Web 4.0 in which some experts predict a shift towards a decentralized web, which includes accessing and data from multiple regions without dependency over one single region with blockchain technology playing a significant role in user control and data ownership.
  • Advanced Interactivity – Introduction of Augmented reality and virtual reality, it increases the interactivity and incline user more towards Web 4.0, the use of virtual and augmented reality could make the web more immersive.
  • User-Centric Design – A focus on user-centered, collaborative approaches through social networking sites, blogs, wikis, and video-sharing platforms.

Disadvantages of Web 4.0

  • Increased Technological Inclination – Since we know Web 4.0 is one of the subsets of the Internet and therefore its progression to Web 4.0 may lead to an intensified reliance on technology and digital platforms. Users have started following high reliance on where users depend on highly customized services for even micro details, and so meticulously so to cater to their individual requirements.
  • Vulnerability and risk elevation and Control – High reliance on the internet can make Web surfing more prone to risking the security of systems and data. Web 4.0 introduces increased platforms where these avenues need surveillance and control, as cyberattacks from intelligent and personalized services could breach and amass and scrutinize vast quantities of user data which further can potentially be utilized to manipulate or influence user behavior.
  • Increased Intricacies with every new feature – Web 4.0 is just an advanced definition of the Internet where with an introduction of new technical features elevation of Complexities and technical sophistications is seen. Web 4.0 is likely to be characterized by intricacies compared to its predecessors, which need highly skilled developers and engineers for its design and maintenance.

Advancements in features of Web 4.0

In the ever-evolving landscape of the internet, the emergence of Web 4.0 marks a pivotal moment where technology succeed with its previous predecessors and their boundaries, which offer users an unprecedented type of personalization as well as customization. In the Centre of evolution there stays the utility of advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms, empowering Web 4.0 to deliver tailored content as per the preferences of users and services with unique and accurate precision.  Web 4.0 has its special features to adapt the user that too individual user preferences creating a digital experience that feels uniquely crafted for each user.

Central to the promise of Web 4.0 is its augmented interactivity, which redefines how users engage with digital content and services. Through the integration of immersive technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, Web 4.0 elevates user experiences to new heights, blurring the lines between the digital and physical worlds. This heightened level of interactivity enables users to interact with information and services in ways previously unimaginable, opening doors to innovative and groundbreaking experiences.

Moreover, Web 4.0 is poised to seamlessly bridge the gap between the physical and virtual realms, revolutionizing the way we interact with our surroundings. By leveraging the power of the Internet of Things (IoT) and other cutting-edge technologies, Web 4.0 connects real-world objects and environments with digital platforms, creating a cohesive and integrated ecosystem. This fusion of physical and virtual worlds not only enhances user experiences but also unlocks new possibilities for industries ranging from healthcare to transportation.

In tandem with its technological advancements, Web 4.0 brings about a paradigm shift towards decentralization and democratization. Unlike previous iterations of the web, which were often dominated by centralized platforms, Web 4.0 embraces a more distributed model, placing greater emphasis on peer-to-peer networks and decentralized protocols. This democratization of information and services empowers users by reducing their reliance on intermediaries, fostering a more inclusive and equitable digital environment.

Furthermore, the advent of Web 4.0 heralds a new era of security and privacy, driven by advanced cryptographic technologies and decentralized architectures. In response to growing concerns over data breaches and privacy violations, Web 4.0 prioritizes the protection of user data and communications through robust security measures. By integrating encryption and decentralized storage solutions, Web 4.0 ensures that user privacy remains safeguarded in an increasingly interconnected world.

In conclusion, Web 4.0 represents a transformative leap forward in the evolution of the Internet, offering users unparalleled levels of personalization, interactivity, and security. By harnessing the power of advanced technologies and embracing principles of decentralization and democratization, Web 4.0 paves the way for a more connected, inclusive, and secure digital future.

Applications of Web 4.0

Web 4.0, has its major focus on the advancement of technology and putting up new ideas that can make the Internet advanced and proficient, technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing and the Internet of things possess a huge aspect of applications which can evolve and change multiple ways of our living and also the businesses. Some key applications of Web 4.0 include:

  • Living smartly and smart process management in cities –Web 4.0 can become crucial and significant in day-to-day activities taking place in cities and can help them become smart cities. With the help of IoT devices, traffic jams at the signals can be monitored, and therefore the whole footfall at public places can be managed, along with this, the inclusion of Web 4.0 in day-to-day processes happening in a city can also manage energy consumption, and optimize public services. This leads to controlled congestion, energy utility and improved urban living.
  • Healthcare industry – With the help of Web 4.0, the healthcare industry can also be developed, Implementation of digital techniques in healthcare processes can facilitate the upliftment of the industry. Instead of waiting in queue for a consultation, consider taking follow-ups on video calls with a doctor could be a way better option than anything, it not only saves time but also helps in filtering the patients having higher priority as per the need of time. Patients could access to personalised care and therefore healthcare providers can make data-driven decisions for better outcomes. Web 4.0 promotes remote patient monitoring smartly with the utility of AI-assisted diagnostics, and predictive analytics.
  • Agriculture:The agricultural sector is the main sector which generates monetary growth in most of the countries. Blending traditional workings with technical advancements such as introducing IoT sensors and making it precision agriculture. Utilization of AI techniques to monitor soil conditions, weather con and crop growth and yield.
  • Education system – Web 4.0 is the most advanced subset of the Internet and we know that with the help of the Internet, we can communicate globally and in the education sector it can enhance education with fruitful learning. AI-driven platforms can help in accomplishing curriculum tasks and assessments to individual student needs, making education more effective and engaging.
  • Transportation and Autonomous Vehicles -With Web 4, smart development has been witnessed on its way, whether it’s the cities, or the education system, etc. most of the sectors have been implementing technical advancements. Now, with the introduction of Web 4.0 in autonomous vehicles plays a crucial role in autonomous vehicles and smart transportation systems. The features of Web 4.0 like AI and IoT technologies let vehicles connect with other devices and enable vehicles to communicate also smart sensing helps in communicating with traffic infrastructure, which encourages safety.

Why do we need Web 4.0?

  • The latest definition of World Wide Web is Web 4.0, which has vast and dynamic features than other of its predecessor version of web, and it is yet evolving and therefore be even more interactive and user-friendly than its forerunners.
  • Web 4.0 precisely is more about making user friendly and interactive web pages which comprise multiple technologies and tools, for example, to cater to certain queries chatbots are associated on web where users can put prompts and generate their desired results. This entails streamlining web pages which are there to make them simple to use and comprehend and include tools and tech stacks that let users engage with the page’s content and with other users using the same page.
  • Making the web more accessible is one of the objectives of Web 4.0. It has features which can be considered as most in-demand including podcasting where users can listen to it, can read and write and interact with blogs and social networking. Through these capabilities, people can communicate more effectively and share information with one another.
  • Precisely Web 4.0 also simplifies web page functionalities and makes user easy to navigate and understand and adds features that allow users to interact with each other and with the content on the page. One of the goals of Web 4.0 is to make the web more accessible to everyone. This includes people with disabilities, who will be able to use assistive technologies to access web content more easily.

Final Thoughts

Web 4.0 stands as a beacon of technological prowess, ready to redefine the behavior and expertise of our existence digitally. With its blend of multiple technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, the Internet of Things (IoT), virtual and augmented reality, and blockchain, this new element shows a pattern or design that shows shift towards unmatched connectivity, proficient intelligence, and creative innovation.

With its core, Web 4.0 represents a cumulative behavior of multiple and distinct technologies, each volunteering to create an advanced, seamless and intelligent digital ecosystem. Artificial intelligence, with its ability to detect huge information and data and make autonomous decisions, empowers Web 4.0 with unprecedented levels of automation and intelligence. Machine learning algorithms further enhance this intelligence by continuously learning and adapting to new data, making systems more efficient and responsive.

The Internet of Things (IoT) with its a significant role in Web 4.0, helps in the connection of multiple devices and let them communicate and share their respective real-time data. This interconnectedness not only enhances efficiency and productivity but also act as a foundation that paves the way for smart cities, autonomous vehicles, and predictive maintenance in various industries.

Virtual and augmented reality technologies are also one of the features comprised in Web 4.0 which adds a layer of involvement and interaction to Web 4.0, letting us in changing the era how we experience digital content and interact with virtual spaces in an online mode, Now, we can experience the practical implementations of a particular through digital training simulations, and therefore, these technologies blur the lines between the physical and digital worlds.

Blockchain technology is considered a decentralized and therefore more secure and transparent application of Web 4.0. By enabling secure and tamper-proof transactions, blockchain enables the secure and seamless sharing of values and information across digital ecosystems.

However, amidst the excitement and potential of Web 4.0, it’s crucial to maintain a balanced perspective. While the possibilities may seem limitless, the widespread adoption and realization of Web 4.0’s full potential will take time. Companies and industries will need to navigate challenges such as interoperability, data privacy, and ethical considerations to harness the true benefits of Web 4.0.

Even if there are some challenges, Web 4.0 possess immense motivation to provide positive change across various sectors. From healthcare and education to manufacturing and finance, the transformative impact of Web 4.0 can reshape industries, improve efficiency, and enhance the quality of life for individuals worldwide.

In conclusion, Web 4.0 represents a convergence of technologies that hold the potential and strength to shape and transform the future where innovation and creativity are limitless and knows no bounds. By embracing and encouraging creativity, collaboration, and a forward-thinking broad mindset, we can harness the power of Web 4.0 to create a digital landscape where there are endless opportunities and the future will possess a positive change within itself.

Sudeep Bhatnagar
Co-founder & Director of Business
Sudeep Bhatnagar

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