Web Pioneer Foresees Big Tech Breakup

John Lister's picture

35 years after conceiving the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee has shared his predictions for its future. The boldest is the possibility of a major tech company being broken up.

Berners-Lee also believes artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality could be harnessed for positive changes to our daily lives.

Although the Internet dates back in some ways to the US military in the late 1960's and in others to the adoption of a common inter-network communication standard in 1983, it had some major use limitations.

That changed with Berners-Lee coming up with the idea of the World Wide Web, a way of directly linking between documents regardless of the server or network they were hosted on. He started work in 1989, got the Web running in 1991 and released the technology into the public domain in 1993. (Source: mail.com)

Personal Assistants For All

Now he has told CNBC three predictions for the next 35 years. The first is that AI will change how users interact with the World Wide Web. He believes one day everyone will have an AI "personal assistant" that isn't just a glorified chatbot. (Source: cnbc.com)

Instead, it will directly take care of many of the tasks which people currently do by visiting websites or using apps. That will leave people mainly going online for entertainment such as streaming video.

Data Controls

The second prediction, which Berners-Lee has made on several previous occasions, is that users will get full ownership and control of their data. He foresees an individual "data pod" which users can grant access to for specific sites and services. He also suggests this could make it easier to seamlessly switch between different interfaces such as phones, smart TVs and even virtual reality headsets.

Finally, Berners-Lee thinks concerns about tech monopolies could become so serious, possibly in the AI industry, that the threat of fines is no longer powerful enough. Instead he believes bodies such as the European Union might use their theoretical powers to force a company to break up.

What's Your Opinion?

Do you think Berners-Lee is right with his predictions? Do you have any predictions of your own? Is it even realistic to try to imagine the World Wide Web and associated technologies in the year 2059?

Rate this article: 
Average: 5 (6 votes)