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"...web 3.0 will be more connected, open, and intelligent, with semantic Web technologies,
distributed databases, natural language processing, machine learning, machine reasoning,
and autonomous agents." — Nova Spivack on web 3.0
Web 3.0 is a widely-misunderstood term which seems to refer to an imagined third generation of the web. Experts say web 3.0 is about creating a more interconnected web which will probably include the semantic tagging of content. Many of the same web experts suggest that web 2.0 is at a 'mature stage' and that we are well into web 3.0. With so much debate about what web 3.0 is, no wonder Wikipedia removed its entry. Web 3.0, an extension of the current web, refers to a third period of development and is best understood as the third decade of web development from 2010-2020. Web 3.0 and the semantic web are often used as synonyms because they share some of the same concepts and ideals. We prefer to think of the semantic web as a set of trends and technologies that will reach maturity during web 3.0. Some web watchers argue that web 2.0 is in an intermediate stage and others dismiss it (and the use of web 1.0, web 2.0, etc). It is unsurprising that web 3.0 would be met with controversy. Web versioning incites debate even annoyance. Nonetheless our goal with web 3.0 should be on how to organize documents with more precision so that we can find them. The ideas of the semantic web originated with Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the major figure in the creation of the World Wide Web.
Simply put, it refers to a set of tools, technologies and social processes. Technically speaking, the semantic web is a more organized, intelligent web, where search tools will find information based on metadata (ie. data about data). Web 3.0 should be better able to address some of the problems associated with poor findability and organization on the current Web.
Web 3.0 impact in medicine
Web 3.0 will, potentially, have a major impact in medicine. WikiProteins, a new site that plans to use web 3.0 technologies to incorporate real time community annotation into a semantic framework, targets mainly the biology community, but has potential application in medical disciplines. In contrast to other wikis, WikiProteins has imported and data content mined from a number of the world's leading databases of biological information, including PubMed, UniProt, and the National Library of Medicine. Entries for every gene will already contain information on topics such as its functional domains, areas of expression, and publications that mention it. According to WikiProteins, the combination of databases yielded 2 million factual relationships to be mined, which produced over 5 billion relationship pairs. Some technology experts have suggested that Web 3.0 will need to consider appropriate international standards as it will, essentially, turn the Web into one large searchable and open database.
What are skeptics saying?
To answer that question, let’s begin with some of the many conflicting definitions of web 3.0. According to Wikipedia, "There is considerable debate as to what the term web 3.0 means, and what a suitable definition might be." Web futurist Nova Spivack says that web 3.0 is "...[a] more connected, open, and intelligent web, using semantic technologies, distributed databases, natural language processing, machine learning and machine reasoning...". A number of Internet experts say that we are already moving toward using the technologies that herald this new era, but some librarians say that these definitions do little to clarify what web 3.0 is [Personal communication, E. Barsky, G. Rowell, February 23, 2008]. Some bloggers argue that web versions do not (or should not) exist.