Web3 — The Internet of You?

From the Internet of Everything to the Internet of You

The Internet of Everything (IoE) “is bringing together people, process, data, and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before-turning information into actions that create new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented economic opportunity for businesses, individuals, and countries.” (Cisco, 2013) The Internet of Everything (IoE) | OpenMind (bbvaopenmind.com)

Imagine a world where you don’t have to adapt to the environment and its settings, but instead, the environment adapts to you. Whether that world is real or virtual, interaction will be on your terms and technology will be at your service. That’s the true promise of the Internet of You (IoU)– to have everything we’re surrounded by or interact with, adapt to us, learn from us, blend into our lives seamlessly, and remove all friction between us and our immediate environment. It’s a superset of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Internet of Everything (IoE), whereby smart tech and objects will be connected into an intelligent network providing hyper-personalised services and assistance.

The Internet of You (IoU) “is a new era for technology in which the smart devices need to be working on our behalf, adapting to our needs, and conforming to our personal desires and intents.” (Jawbone, 2014) The Internet of You | HuffPost Impact

An internet that puts YOU at the centre, learning and adaptive, enabled by a relational and contextual graph representing the multifaceted nature of your life, interests and activities. A smart network that understands context and will adapt settings, connections, and services to fit your in-the-moment needs and intent. Powered by (artificial) intelligence and autonomous systems that will reconfigure the world around you, whether IRL or URL, to match your identity, preferences and affinities.

People increasingly expect smart services to adapt to their personal preferences, and for experiences to be tuned to their real-time or predicted needs. And while personal data is required to feed these intelligent and adaptive systems, people are no longer willing to trade off privacy without keeping control over data access and sharing permissions, and without seeing tangible value being returned. Hence, the need for an internet that is empowering and enabling, with you owning and controlling your data and setting the terms. And an internet that is not value extracting, but rewarding, fuelling a positive-sum game where you get to participate and partake in the economic value created.

Gartner already hinted to the entwining of people, devices, content and services into an Intelligent Digital Mesh back in 2017. The term describes the smart integration of connected devices, people, content and services to create an immersive, digitally enhanced and connected environment, effectively blending the virtual and real worlds. The idea being that when technologies increasingly work together in a network, or Mesh, rather than individually as lone parts, this will ultimately result in higher convenience and relevance for the people these technologies service.

To deliver on the promise of Mesh and transform the Internet of Everything into the Internet of You, technology must evolve to recognise and incorporate the multifaceted nature of one’s identity, profile and reputation, in order to deliver personalised, adaptive and context-aware products and services. While metaverse is all the buzz, people live an ‘omniverse’ reality, fluidly moving between real and virtual networks, interfacing with multiple channels, and exposing different identity traits and skin-in-the-game as they hop from one relational context to the next. Who you are, how you express yourself, and what you are looking for is contextual; defined by the nature, norms and purpose of each distinct network or universe, and how you fit in.

As a result, the underlying social and contextual graph powering the Internet of You will need to be both open and interoperable, while returning the data ownership and permission keys back to the user at the centre of the graph. This ‘metagraph’ will offer a new perspective on human identity, affinities, relationships and reputation, that allows for more accurate and contextual representations of the different ‘Yous and Yours’ that constitute one’s multi-dimensional life. Our real and digital life reputations are multi-faceted, made up of thousands of weak and strong signals. An amalgamation of personal, professional and social behaviour over many years, with the Internet of You generating one giant, real-time feedback loop, where all of these tiny social interactions become micro-credentials. Identity and reputation are contextual, not universal. And reputation isn’t a point-in-time assessment; it’s the aggregate of your behaviour over a period of time.

Reputation is the sum total of your previous actions. Because it is based on past behavior, it serves as one of the best predictors of future behavior. If you show up to work early and leave late every day for 365 days, you develop a reputation as a hard worker. This is also the best predictor of how you are likely to behave on day 366. Issue #40: Micro-credentials & Web3 Reputation (substack.com)

Web3 and the Internet of You

Web3 is often referred to as the decentralised web. In web3, data is interconnected through decentralised protocols, which are the foundations of blockchain and crypto. Its lack of centralisation means that control shifts back to the individual, including the data and privacy that goes along with it.

Web3 — No One Owns Anything, We All Own Our Own Thing Next Gen Internet — The Dawn of Web3 | by Ryan C | ThePowerBrunch | Medium

Thanks to a native ownership and authentication layer, web3 will enable and accelerate the digitisation of everything. Smart contracts and tokens act as a digital representation of ownership, enabling verifiable ownership within and across networks. Not only can you prove that your identity, assets, and objects are yours, you can take your identity, reputation and assets from one location to another, wherever they are supported. Essentially, rather than centralised and walled garden data structures, the distributed blockchain puts the onus of true ownership on the users. Users, via tokens and wallets, will manage their identities, data and assets, and ultimately decide which services and applications get access.

As a result, web3 allows us to expose ourselves to platforms and smart services without fear of scrutiny or intrusion of privacy. By aggregating our online data and sharing the parts we find relevant to receive better recommendations and find better opportunities, web3 enables us to carry our identity — in the form of an address with on-chain data — across apps, platforms and communities, while having control to share those parts of ourselves that we choose.

More importantly, web3 can let us transcend the limited language of existing platforms by creating more advanced living, breathing identities on-chain. … The point ultimately is that it will showcase who we are not simply as checkboxes of consumer taste, but active creators, contributors, and collaborators — as humans. People are the New Platforms — by David Phelps (substack.com)

A portable and transferable identity and social graph will empower users with an aggregate and holistic view of their whole and sovereign self, using on and off-chain data, accurately reflecting the multi-faceted profile they have constructed and the credentials they have earned across multiple online and offline environments. Time, effort, and investment spent on building social and economic status is locked in and completely owned by the user, with the ability to take their reputations wherever they go.

When combined with smart contracts, and connected to smart devices and services, a person’s digital twin will reflect and update relevant status and context in real-time, triggering self-executing code to render experiences and outcomes which are optimised to a person’s in-the-moment needs and desires. And all this in a ‘permissionless’ manner, in the sense that there is no need for human or intermediary involvement to deliver on this type of Internet of You use cases. But at the same time, also ‘permission-first’, as people are in charge of their own identity, control their own accounts, and set data sharing permissions on their own terms.

Web3 is a collection of the the 21st century’s most impactful technologies, combined to offer humanity the chance for a more fair and people-centric future. What the hell is Web3? Here’s an explanation, in plain English. | by Mike Troiano | G20 Ventures | Medium

From an attention economy to an engagement economy

The next generation of innovations — collectively referred to as web3 and the intelligent digital mesh — is all about tilting the scales of power and ownership back toward users. “By the people, for the people”. They offer us a future where we are in charge of our own identity, data and reputations, not beholden to the whims of big data hoarding companies. Web3 promises to shift value, control and bargaining power back to us, the users.

By enabling users to control their data, networks and platforms will become much more fluid and, as a result, abundant. With much lower switching costs, consumers will theoretically be able to move from one application, service or network to the next, bringing their data, preferences, reputation and relationships with them. Loyalty becomes the new scarce resource, forcing brands, communities and service providers to move from a transactional attention economy to a relational engagement economy, putting YOU back in the centre and in control.

And in doing so, web3 will move us a little closer to the promise of the Internet of You …

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