Web 1.0 established the online shopping cart. Web 2.0 democratized media. Now alive and just over the tipping point, with Stable Diffusion, Dall·E from OpenAI is the first semantic darling of Web 3.0.
Winding down rapidly in effect, web3 (not Web 3.0) was something and there is something to talk about with a decentralized infrastructure which is useful, and in the long run, could lead to its greatest potential realized in the form of a global currency. A global currency levels the playing field for people stuck in economies based on their own locked-in government’s health performance and it’s not the same as Web 3.0, something altogether different. Web 3.0, “The Semantic Web”, was first articulated by the inventor of the web, over two decades ago. Now we are here.
That’s not to say that DALL·E is the first, the best or even the most unique. Nor is it a statement meant to undermine Stable Diffusion or any of the massively more advanced achievements in AI and machine learning to date. DALL·E is the first to capture these qualities for the mainstream, in an elegant, beautiful application that clarifies in no uncertain terms to everyone on first sight that the world of AI is pervasive.
The Semantic Web is profound for our culture in how it’s changing the way we make everyday life decisions, with more meaningful information. No matter what question you may have, and regardless of your familiarity with a topic, we’re entering a period where computers can help us determine many of the answers better than any human would ever be able to. That’s an extremely controversial idea, especially when you consider concepts like art and love.
A scene in Her (2013), imagines life in the near future, the future we are entering into now based merely on the limits and accessibility of processing power.
The movie demonstrates how effective a computer can be with such power, and especially, how computers can play a more effective role, more of the time, and how we can harness that power as a tool to grow.
Specifically, Web 3.0 is a web that is more important for computers to understand and do work with. By semantic in this case, we mean machine readable. Practically, when we put our thoughts out, in whatever form, there is an important bridge that must take that information and translate it into a language that computers can use to work with, and build upon. Web 2.0 brought human ideas in the form of media to the web, Web 3.0 parses it, not just for what is being said, but what is meant, to then present the results back to us.
What products will best fit your particular wants and needs? What clothing style becomes you and what style doesn’t? What do you mean when you say X? What book would you like to read, and what do you want to get from it? Should you take the job or not?
When we make decisions about anything, we use what data we have and if we go out to seek more data to help us better understand, there is ultimately a limit to the amount of time and the information we can stand to gather to help us. We know that if we seek a “professional” to help us on important matters we tend to improve our success rate by incorporating their experience. The sheer amount of processing power and applicable logic available to assign a statistical probability now to practically every component that can be discovered of every component that can be discovered sets ever higher limits on the information we can use.
Today each new iPhone (a mere pocket device) contains over 15 billion transistors with a neural engine that can perform over 15 trillion calculations per second. Talk about a human achievement. So if you want to know something, in a way that you can personally understand, within a time frame that you wish to allocate, an operating system that knows you better than your friends and family can help piece it all together in a quicker, more meaningful way. It’s amazing how it relies on the web, which must be open and connected to become and thrive.
Each Web era, I’ve noticed, appears to undergo a cycle that begins with decentralization and ends with centralization. Should that happen with Web 3.0, now is the time of freedom and open culture, but eventually the clouds will set in.