An analysis comparing machine-to-machine communication with person-to-person communications reveals the progress of artificial intelligence in the last fifty years. (several authors speak of First, Second and Third Machine Age) :

This diagram shows several trends :

  • Over the years, the processes become increasingly visual, interactive and immersive.
  • We are leaving the development of hardware behind and becoming more and more interested in the more human aspects of communications
  • These studies, which currently analyze individuals, will eventually become more pertinent to communities and interest groups seeking consensus (our hypothesis re : probable development of social networks 2nd generation). In some English speaking backgrounds, we speak of Civic Tech and cultural engineering, etc.

The Internet is not the beginning of the computer network-of-networks. It has now become THE dominant communication network for the world :

For citizens : People become both a post office (e-mail), telephone (chat), a journal (posting new screen), a dictionary (Google), a movie theatre (Netflix and HBO) etc.

For information workers : it provides both the tools (software and more than one million applications) and workspaces (cloud).

For young people : it is where they explore the world and learn its rules, and has become a critical space for forging their personalities. Currently, it is an incomparable place of freedom. Unfortunately that freedom is greatly threatened by the US government spying on people (NSA) (chapter 6, no 17).

The Internet as a global public space

The Web has become a public square. 25% of the 7 billion people inhabiting our planet today are Internet users, half of them being young people under 25 years (chapter 7, no 4). Its different functions provide access to 5 billion pieces of content, which represents barely 30% of what is available (no. 11).

Internet 1 is structured on the principle of aggregation into mass (no. 10), while Internet 2, and soon 3, will focus on segmentation and targeting (the quality of niches) specialties and proximity (chapter 6, no. 19). If Internet 1 obeys Moore’s Law, Internet 2 and 3 will obey Metcalfe’s Law (chapter 6, no. 6).

The known historical eras :

schémas

Balkanization of the Internet

Internet 2 is currently undergoing a revolution : it is less and less a planetary entity because it is in the process of becoming balkanised. The early digital forces and players are being pushed out their place of influence by the forces of existing economic and political forces :

  • spying on citizens by the NSA and other secret institutions (the Snowden case) (chapter 6, no 17) ;
  • American-centric by ICANN (until recently – see the recent reactions of NetMundial) ;
  • proprietary software imposed by large consortia and geographically-blocked content (Tou.tv, BBC, etc.) ;
  • the arrival of mobile networks in which applications and services are no longer equivalent; as well many machine-machine networks will emerge with the Internet of Things ;
  • the end of net neutrality, which brings out a two-tiered Internet (See US FCC, May 2014).