By Changing The Way The Web Works, We Can 'Make It A Better Place'

Tim Berners-Lee
Inventor of the World Wide Web, Director of W3C, CTO and Co-founder of Inrupt

The internet is growing so fast that almost every knowledge and information humans know are digitized for the world to consume.

With a vast amount of the human population connected to the so-called World Wide Web, a lot of businesses thrive using the technology.

As a result, countless of new jobs are created, and working and learning have never become easier, as information is just a few clicks/taps away.

However, the modern internet the world is benefiting, is nothing like what the father of the World Wide Web Tim Berners-Lee envisioned when he invented it in 1989.

While the internet has indeed allows people to interact and communicate freely, what lies behind them worries the web founder.

Behind the fast-flowing data, there are groups and a handful of giant monopolies and countries that live by consuming the massive trove of user information, many of which, are personal data.

Tim Berners-Lee

The steps for conquering the web goes like this.

When a platform is born, it does whatever it can to attract new users. The more the user, the better, as it can propel itself by earning money, as well as consuming user data. And this will result in the platform becoming a dominant player in its niche, among its competitors. And once it dominates, it can collect even more data.

When the world's economic and political super powers are divided between the East and the West, the internet powerhouses are also divided between them.

In the East, there is the so-called 'BAT' - Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent, and in the West, there is 'GAFAM' - Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft.

And by the time these entities sit on a huge trove of user data and other resources, the next wave would be Artificial Intelligence.

The platform can then create algorithms to train from those massive amount of data, to come up with better machine-learning and deep-learning models.

Even Russian President Vladimir Putin once said that whoever is in charge of AI "will dominate the world."

Speaking when he joined the war of words concerning the international race to develop AI, Putin said that AI offers "colossal opportunities" as well as dangers

He said that AI "is the future" for "all humankind," and whoever becomes the leader in this sphere "will become the ruler of the world.”

But Berners-Lee wants to fight back against this consolidation of power.

With Inrupt, Berners-Lee wants to allow consumers themselves, rather than companies, to control their own data. Through Inrupt, Berners-Lee wants users to store their data inside so-called pods, which would allow users to move them wherever they please.

By putting user data in one place, users can prevent BAT, GAFAM or any other online entities from extracting their individual data without asking.

Through the pods, users can share the information with the company, if he or she chooses. It's all about giving the power back to the people.

"We are on a mission to change the way the web works, to make it a better place for all of us," said Berners-Lee in a YouTube video with Telegraph's Technology Intelligence Live.

"It's a mid-course correction to restore the values of individual and group empowerment that the internet used to have and seems to have lost."

Berners-Lee explained that the technology 'Solid'. it allows anyone to share information with anyone else, in a way that the internet should be decentralized, like how it was intended to be.

People don't even have to be using the same apps.

"This is the opposite way that apps are built," Berners-Lee said. "You don't have to hand your data over and then it's locked away in that app forever."

With Solid, it's the people who have the power to control their data, not big platforms like Google, Facebook or others.