We are so technocentric that we do not realize that the Internet is now ethnocentric. There have been three key developments:

Internet 1: the technological revolution (digital implementation).

Internet 2 : the mobile revolution (an electronic public plaza that primarily conveys opinions).

Internet 3 : the service revolution (niches and their supporting applications, and a more complex Internet of which the Internet of Things is a major part) :

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The transitions :

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• Internet 1 (from the 70s)

(From the 70s, a generation of 16-bit systems to 16 MHz.)
(From the 80s, a generation of 32-bit 100 MHz.)

Initially the focus was on the physical location of the first network of mainframe computers, providing very slow telecommunications that used the broadcasting mode. Its use was first military (computing power) and then shopping (increases in productivity). This was the stage of the computerization of office operations. The internet has increased productivity so much that its impact has become mainly economic.

The main characters of this generation are Al Gore and Bill Gates.

Technological landmarks

1940 SAGE is the first computer network across the United States, includes 40 computers and many radars.
1958 DARPA signals the beginning of the rise of the military-scientific complex thanks to the invention of packet switching.
1962 Telstar, the first telecommunications satellite.
1969 Arpanet first connection between computers.
1980 The first electronic bulletin boards ; crop emergence networks.
1980 The first microcomputers ; emergence evangelists and users citizen clubs.
1989 Creation of the World Wide Web by Tim Berners-Lee.
1990 Demilitarization of ARPANET becomes the Internet.
1993 Al Gore Report The National Information Infrastructure.
1993 Mosaic Internet happens to PC.
1995 The Internet standard is accepted by all industrialized countries (G7) and enables the development of marketing, which eventually became globalized. Absorption of all academic, commercial and national networks.
2003 Battlefield Internet during the Iraq War
2013 Snowden-NSA Affairs.
2014 Start of the balkanization of the Internet and the Web.

Some key questions

In 1980, at several conferences the question was asked of the people in the industry : Who will be the leader in the nascent information industry ? There were four pretenders to the throne :

  • Large phone companies (Bell, AT&T etc.).
  • OEMs (IBM).
  • Cable operators (Videotron).
  • And the then-nascent micro-processing companies (Apple).

40 years ago, the Internet was not even an option. At first no one knew what was behind this new expression of capability known as the Electronic Information Highway (see this caricature by Serge Chapleau, Le Devoir, Montreal) :

At the launch of the information highway in 1990 (Al Gore), the state promised enormous benefits so as to encourage entrepreneurs to invest in the new system that would become THE new global retail network. This was pushed so much so that in the analyses carried out during this period, the customer was not present – almost nonexistent :

• Internet 2 (adolescence, from 2000)

(A generation of 64-bit systems to 3.5 GHz)

This is the stage now being realized by mobile devices, geolocation and the development of one million applications (friendly computing). This represents utopia for the global Internet. It is a stage of intense socialization, in which more than two billion Internet users are learning to become participants via the point-casting (peer-to-peer or P2P architecture) used by 1st-generation social networks :

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The two main characters of the Internet are Tim Berners-Lee and Steve Jobs.

• Internet 3 (maturity after 2020?)

(This generation will use qu-bits and very different computers).

This will be the era of Internet services, ubiquitous and trivialized ecosystems (Ubiquitous Computing). All robots, tags, cameras and smart circuits will be connected to it, creating the Internet of Things (no 16).

At first, this Internet 3 will serve as infrastructure for monitoring, which is likely to affect the privacy of all citizens. It will become commonplace to the point of being part of the furniture, especially as these objects are increasingly smaller and less expensive. Some will even fly ; below is a drone equipped with a camera that inspects the structures of a bridge :

Currently, the main pioneers of the Internet are Mark Andreessen, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg.

The outline of its evolution are described in the following diagram, which shows that the processing of information is increasingly organized in local environments (home, etc.), and then in smart objects and wearables and finally the human brain may be conquered (see BRAIN below) :

A copy of the brain ?

The BRAIN Initiative Map Project is a project like the Genome Project. This project seeks to understand and copy what happens in the human brain so as to better plan future generations of computers. It was announced by President Obama, beginning in 2014 ($ 100 million in budget).

Deep Learning

In the domain of artificial intelligence, Deep Learning uses Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) which function as follows. In the schema below, each point gives a value to the data and then decides to pass this value to one of the points of the next layer (engineers at Microsoft have succeeded in building an information system consisting of 152 neuronal layers). Then, we only have to change the weightings to refine any analysis that uses this database.

It is by changing the values of the weightings that we can personalize more and more the content or the services we access and use, for example classifying images, noticing the presence of spam, finding fraud in the use of credit cards, enhancing a video game and monitoring and spying on people :

In this area, the first attempts sought to model the operation of certain parts of the brain. Below, the bottom picture shows a tangle of wires trying to reproduce neurons and the top photo their synaptic connections :