|People keep asking what Web 3.0 is. I think maybe when you’ve got an overlay of scalable vector graphics – everything rippling and folding and looking misty – on Web 2.0 and access to a semantic Web integrated across a huge space of data, you’ll have access to an unbelievable data resource.|
Ready for GWorld?
Have you ever come up with a great domain name for a Web 2.0 application, personal blog, or online store only to find out that it and 2000 other variations (including dyslexic spellings) were already off the market?
Well, there is good news then! Virtual worlds, which include Gworld, a hypothetical future version of Google Earth where you can have an avatar and build stores, supermarkets or your own personal publishing house (the virtual world’s version of the humble blog) will not require you to register a domain. However, you will have to claim the land, or in the case of GWorld, pay Google a renewable license fee to the right to occupy the land for X number of years (a.k.a. a land lease.) You may also have to hire virtual world developers to build your house, hotel, store, etc for you (using Google Sketchup, which already lets you build houses and other structures and place them on Google Earth) and most likely have Google ads integrated into the walls as doorways into other stores, publishing houses or bordellos.
Some of the scenarios in Google’s hyopthetical future version of Google Earth, a.k.a. “GWorld (beta)”, may include:
- The ability to idetinfy and track the location of all objects in the virtual world (as if each had a virtual RFID tag.)
- The ability to barter with real and/or virtual objects (interchangeably.) You can buy a real t-shirt on GWorld with virtual stuff you made or had purchased off someone else (e.g. a nice roof for a house, a side wall, a portable mountain, etc)
- The ability to break the law and get away with it a la Grand Theft Auto except all radio stations in your stolen car will air Google sponsored commercials.
- The ability to create your own wicked (or more civilized) version of the world, i.e. the ability to create your own world, not just your own forum or popular blog but your own world with your own genuine looking castle! full with real people (incarnated as avatars) who become your loyal followers and click (or rather “knock”) very often on your Google ads (which you can already have in the 2D Web but I bet it will be more satisfying when you can make them do that on demand or risk being left without shelter.)
With such a world of possibilities who needs the 2D Web anymore?
The Case for GWorld
But to “organize the [virtual] world’s information” more intelligently than possible in the real world, we will first have to enter the Semantic Web phase. This is where all information on the Web would be put into standard format (a declarative ontological language like OWL) which machines can use to build a view (or formal ontological model) of how the individual terms in the information relate to each other, which can be thought of as axioms (basic assumptions), which together with the rules of inference constrain the interpretation and well-formed use of these terms. Based on that, formal deductive propositions that are provable based on the axioms and the rules of inference (i.e. theorems) may be generated by the software, thus allowing formal deductive reasoning at the machine level. So given that an ontology, as described here, is a statement of Logic Theory, two or more independent, machine-based information agents processing the same domain-specific ontology will be able to collaborate and deduce an answer to a query, without being driven by the same software.
In other words, in the Semantic Web individual machine-based agents (or a collaborating group of agents) will be able to understand and use information by translating concepts and deducing new information rather than just matching keywords.
Once machines can understand and use information in a standard way, the virtual world will never be the same. It will be possible to have a Google Buddy or many Google Buddies among your virtual AI-enhanced workforce each having access to different domain specific comprehension space with all having access to the collective consciousness (read: Google as the virtual world’s omnipresent AI.) You’ll be able to ask your Google Buddy (or Buddies) to find you the nearest restaurant in your virtual neighborhood (which may be a loose replica of your real-world neighborhood) that serves Italian cuisine, even if the local restaurant nearest to you advertises themselves a Pizza joint as opposed to an Italian restaurant. But that is just a simple example of the deductive reasoning machines will be able to perform on information they have.
I believe that the advent (on the Web scale) of this already existing machine reasoning capability is going to make the case for doing business in the aforementioned “Google Earth + Sketchup + Semantic Web” enabled virtual world far more compelling than in the real world or the current non-semantic 2D Web, and that is because every object that exists in such virtual world will be automatically within the comprehension space of the machine-as-your-Google-Buddy! That sort of awesome power (i.e. the ability to access/query the collective consciousness of the universe at will and with precision) combined with user-generated “design it and they will come” 3D environments will make a powerful case for the move out of the current 2D Web and into the virtual world.
So if you thought Web 2.0 is exciting and Web 3.0 (Semantic Web) was going to be powerful then wait till you see what Web 4.0 has in store …
Google Earth, Virtual World, Semantic Web, Web strandards, Trends, Sketchup, OWL, 3D Web, innovation, RFID, Startup, Evolution, Google, GData, inference, inference engine, AI, ontology, Game Design, Semanticweb, Web 2.0, Web 2.0, gworld