European Union Unveils Strategy for Web 4.0 and Virtual Worlds Development
The European Commission has published a strategy for the "development of Web 4.0 and virtual worlds reflecting EU values and principles." The corresponding announcement was posted on the organization's website.
According to the EU's definition, Web 4.0 represents the fourth generation of internet development, combining artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain, metaverses, and augmented reality.
"We will invest in integrating and expanding new technologies, as well as providing people with tools and skills for the safe and confident use of digital universes," stated Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market.
Breton believes that this new stage of technological development will facilitate the merging of digital and physical spaces and enhance human-machine interaction.
"In the EU's economic forecast for the post-2030 period, digitization is considered one of the key factors, and Web 4.0 represents an important technological transition that provides an interconnected space. Estimates suggest that the global market volume of virtual worlds will grow from €27 billion in 2022 to over €800 billion by 2030," the European Commission statement reads.
The authorities have outlined several key development strategies:
Expanding the rights and opportunities of individuals in the digital sector through access to reliable information and the creation of a reserve of skilled professionals. As part of this step, EU legislators will present guiding principles for virtual worlds by the end of 2023.
Supporting the European Web 4.0 ecosystem to "improve service quality and address the issue of fragmentation."
Digitizing government services and supporting societal progress. The authorities will launch two projects: an immersive urban environment for planning and management called CitiVerse and a medical service called the European Virtual Human Twin.
Establishing global standards for new technologies. The European Commission will engage with stakeholders in the field of computer development and recommend rules according to the EU's vision.
It should be noted that currently, humanity is in the era of Web 3.0, also known as the "semantic web." This era is characterized by seamless and efficient communication between humans and computers, where machines easily distinguish natural language and better respond to human requests. For more information, read our article.