Saturday, September 08, 2007

10 Future Web Trends

Ten trends that will effect user interface design ...

"We’re well into the current era of the Web, commonly referred to as Web 2.0. Features of this phase of the Web include search, social networks, online media (music, video, etc), content aggregation and syndication (RSS), mashups (APIs), and much more. Currently the Web is still mostly accessed via a PC, but we’re starting to see more Web excitement from mobile devices (e.g. iPhone) and television sets (e.g. XBox Live 360).

What then can we expect from the next 10 or so years on the Web? As NatC commented in this week’s poll, the biggest impact of the Web in 10 years time won’t necessarily be via a computer screen - “your online activity will be mixed with your presence, travels, objects you buy or act with.” Also a lot of crossover will occur among the 10 trends below (and more) and there will be Web technologies that become enormously popular that we can’t predict now.

Bearing all that in mind, here are 10 Web trends to look out for over the next 10 years…

1. Semantic Web

Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s vision for a Semantic Web has been The Next Big Thing for a long time now. Indeed it’s become almost mythical, like Moby Dick. In a nutshell, the Semantic Web is about machines talking to machines. It’s about making the Web more ‘intelligent’, or as Berners-Lee himself described it: computers “analyzing all the data on the Web - the content, links, and transactions between people and computers.” At other times, Berners-Lee has described it as “the application of weblike design to data” - for example designing for re-use of information.

As Alex Iskold wrote in The Road to the Semantic Web, the core idea of the Semantic Web is to create the meta data describing data, which will enable computers to process the meaning of things. Once computers are equipped with semantics, they will be capable of solving complex semantical optimization problems.

So when will the Semantic Web arrive? The building blocks are here already: RDF, OWL, microformats are a few of them. But as Alex noted in his post, it will take some time to annotate the world’s information and then to capture personal information in the right way. Some companies, such as Hakia and Powerset and Alex’s own AdaptiveBlue, are actively trying to implement the Semantic Web. So we are getting close, but we are probably a few years off still before the big promise of the Semantic Web is fulfilled.

2. Artificial Intelligence

Possibly the ultimate Next Big Thing in the history of computing, AI has been the dream of computer scientists since 1950 - when Alan Turing introduced the Turing test to test a machine’s capability to participate in human-like conversation. In the context of the Web, AI means making intelligent machines. In that sense, it has some things in common with the Semantic Web vision."    (Continued via )    [Usability Resources]

Artificial Intelligence Websites - Usability, User Interface Design

Artificial Intelligence Websites

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