The NY Times had a nice article in last Sunday’s edition—on the front page above the fold—on the concept of Web 3.0, which may have implications for our field.

To give you a sense of what Web 3.0 is, here are some quotes from the article:

  • "[The Web 3.0] goal is to add a layer of meaning on top of the existing Web that would make it less of a catalog and more of a guide — and even provide the foundation for systems that can reason in a human fashion."
  • "But in the future, more powerful systems could act as personal advisers in areas as diverse as financial planning, with an intelligent system mapping out a retirement plan for a couple, for instance, or educational consulting, with the Web helping a high school student identify the right college."
  • "[The holy-grail of Web 3.0 developers] is to build a system that can give a reasonable and complete response to a simple question like: ‘I’m looking for a warm place to vacation and I have a budget of $3,000. Oh, and I have an 11-year-old child.’"

The goal then is to be able to analyze the information from the web and come up with quick and meaningful responses to queries people ask.

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Hmmm. That’s sort of a learning application in a way.

And, if we can create such systems, why couldn’t we ask a query like, "I want to become a CLO at a socially responsible company, and I’m currently an instructional designer with an undergraduate degree in humanties and an MBA, plus 5 years experience as a leadership trainer. What do I have to do reach my goal and what do I have to learn?"

What would Web 3.0 mean for our field?