This really is “Web 4.0”

If you look online there are some quite messy descriptions of what Web 3.0 and 4.0 are.

3.0 is sometimes seen as AI driven but is more typically linked to the evolutions around blockchain and crypto (depending where you look AI might still be 3 and wider adoption of metaverse is 4.0). If we take 4.0 as where we are now – with AI tools proliferating – I have to say it feels like the kind of change we saw with 2.0 in c.2006-2008.

I was lucky with 2.0 as a lot of the buzz was at the same time as me studying for my MA. The team at Sheffield University did a good job of considering where some of the more interactive, social and co-authored web features would change the world. I look back at this as an exciting time where we saw a real shift towards full adoption of the web – Facebook became ubiquitous, video was shared online not on CD, online file storage evolved to a more usable set of tools and many other changes.

Now it is easy again to come across multiple exciting new tools everyday – a number of which eat away at traditional work (see a LinkedIn post from me on this) or, indeed, the types of tools we have seen evolve since the buzz around 2.0. What seems to have been lost in the noise around “AI” and the claims, rightly or wrongly of how AI is used in a lot of these new tools, is that this is just plain exciting. Personally I am not in the “fear” camp with this – we are seeing incredible novel and innovative AI that should make all our lives better.

Author: iangardnergb

My name is Ian Gardner and I am interested in various topics that can be seen as related to learning, technology and information. To see what I am reading elsewhere, follow me on The Old Reader ( and/or Twitter (@iangardnergb).

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