The Future of the Internet

In the future, Internet cats might even be robotic…

After watching videos from Kevin Kelly, Tim Berners-Lee and Vint Cerf, all from a few years back, it’s outstanding to see how ‘prophetic’ their visions were on the future of the internet. Although we are not 100% there yet, by this time, you can already see the trajectory of where we are going.

The nagging theme in the videos, I thought, was the notion that the inter-connectivity of the Internet as a hardware entity is in fact a precursor on how the data within this network is going to be like. It’s almost saying, “Ok, we’veĀ  connected the computers, now it’s time to connect what’s in the computers”. TBL dicusses about “linked data” and provides examples such as the dbPedia project which takes Wikipedia data and links it together and makes the relationships accessible via a query. This is a very exciting prospect since all the talk of “big data” today is showing that we are really headed in that direction.

The rise of social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, TripAdvisor, etc. has really partly represented this new “tsunami” that is about to engulf us all. Almost all internet companies, hardware manufacturers, web services are recognizing this so we are seeing an emphasis on how they can help people remain connected with their data and with each other.

Another wave in this tsunami is the emergence of cloud computing like DropBox, Google Drive, and Amazon AWS. You need to be able to access your data anywhere with any device, further strengthening Kevin Kelly’s idea that the computers are mere “windows” in this big machine.

So what really is the big picture? Personally, I think, what we are seeing is just the tip of the iceberg. Forget about flying cars or teleportation at this point (not that these are not going to happen) as the promise of the future. The future looks to be more looking like “super-humans” roaming the Earth. People who know everything about anything.

If I were to pick one movie that would represent the future of the Internet, it would probably be Minority Report, the “pre-cogs” will be the Internet itself, and we will be able to predict events and human behavior with the power of this inter-connected network and its inter-connected data.

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