6.45 PM Friday, 9 June 2023
  • City Fajr Shuruq Duhr Asr Magrib Isha
  • Dubai 03:59 05:25 12:21 15:42 19:12 20:38
09 June 2023

This is not the Web I’ve known: Sir Timothy Berners-Lee admits he’s scared about future of his invention

By Wam

The Web has become a necessity of life, though it has been a "recurring battle to keep it open and transparent", said Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web.

"When I created the Web 29 years ago, I imagined it as an open platform that would allow everyone to share information anywhere and collaborate. But now even when they are connected together, they don’t end up collaborating positively, but rather the result comes negative in many instances," Timothy told the Emirates News Agency, WAM, on the sidelines of the now-running International Government Communications Forum in Sharjah.

It was clear throughout the brief interview, with the man who changed our life, that he was concerned about his invention, which ended up in a different way from what he conceived of 29 years ago.

He added, "I’ve become worried about new threats which I believe we must address in order for the web to fulfill its true potential as a tool that serves all of humanity and to be an accurate mirror of humanity: We have lost control of our personal data; it’s becoming too easy for misinformation to spread on the web; and transparency.

"Now we've gotten into the age of social networks. I think the last two years have caused a lot of people to have a different view of the web. So having spent two decades trying to keep the Web open, and produce wonderful things for our life, now we've realised, actually, it might not."

Speaking earlier in the day at the forum, Timothy called for a new balance between data sharing and government regulation to restore faith in social media, as the online world accelerates into the fourth industrial revolution.

"Data from millions of users has ended up at the disposal of the political consultants, forcing some uncomfortable questions for Facebook as to how personal information is used without consent."

Timothy thinks "lots of big things will be happening over the coming years as majority of the world people are connected, which means that people have to worry about their skills as well."

"With regards to AI, you have to worry if you’re doing a minimal job. If you’re a truck driver or factory worker, you’ve to be worried because automation is taking over."