I Regret Inventing “WWW” -Tim Berners-Lee
Tim Berners-Lee told me one morning in downtown Washington, D.C., about a half mile from the White House, that “people who want to make sure the Web serves humanity, we have to concern ourselves with what people are building on top of it.
” Berners-Lee was speaking about the future of the Internet, as he does frequently and passionately and with great animation at a remarkable cadence. He was speaking about how the Internet will be used in the future.
Berners-Lee has an Oxonian wisp of hair that frames his chiseled face, giving him the appearance of the consummate academic. He communicates quickly, in a clipped London accent, occasionally skipping over words and eliding sentences as he stutters to convey a thought.
Berners-Lee was the inventor of the World Wide Web. His monologue contained elements of elation as well as a certain amount of melancholy. Berners-Lee is credited with the invention of the World Wide Web nearly three decades ago. This very morning, he had made his way to Washington, DC, as part of his mission to save the nation’s capital.
Berners-Lee is currently 63 years old and has had a career that can be roughly divided into two phases. In the first, he went to Oxford; in the second, he worked at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN); and in the third, he had the idea that would eventually become the World Wide Web in 1989. Berners-innovation Lee’s was initially conceived with the goal of assisting researchers in exchanging data over what was then a relatively unknown network known as the Internet. A version of this network had been in use by the United States government since the 1960s. But as soon as he made the decision to give away the source code for nothing — in order to turn the World Wide Web into a democratic and open platform for everyone — his idea took on a life of its own very quickly. The changes that occurred in Berners-life Lee’s are irreversible as well. He would go on to receive the Turing Award (named after the famous code breaker) for his accomplishments in the field of computer science, and he would also be honored at the Olympics. Time magazine would later name him one of the most influential people of the 20th century. The Queen has bestowed upon him the rank of knighthood. According to Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, “He is the Martin Luther King of our new digital world.” [Citation needed] (Berners-Lee served in a previous capacity on the board of trustees of the foundation.)
Berners-Lee has spent the majority of his life trying to protect his invention, despite the fact that he has never directly benefited from it. Berners-Lee has spent the past three decades thinking about virtually nothing else. This is in contrast to the practices prevalent in Silicon Valley, which saw the development of ride-sharing apps and social media networks without giving due consideration to the potential repercussions.
Berners-Lee, in point of fact, understood from the very beginning how the immense power of the web would radically transform governments, businesses, and societies all over the world. He also foresaw the possibility that his creation, if misused, could wipe out entire worlds, much like what the infamous scientist Robert Oppenheimer once infamously remarked about his own invention.
His prediction came true most recently when it was revealed that Russian hackers had interfered with the election for the presidency in 2016, or when Facebook admitted that it had exposed the data of more than 80 million users to a political research firm called Cambridge Analytica, which worked for Donald Trump’s campaign. Both of these events brought to life his prophecy. This episode was the most recent in a narrative that has been getting progressively more unsettling.
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