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Future Internet Research and Experimentation

European Union_071820A
[European Union - ETH-Zurich]

- Paths to Our Digital Future

In the digital world, people will be able to use robots and other technologies to perform jobs in the physical world, such as factory operations, construction, logistics, healthcare, and space operations.

Energy and resource consumption brought about by digitalization are increasing, and global production and consumption patterns are also placing a greater burden on the ecosystem. Waves of technological innovation will not automatically translate into sustainable development transformations, but must be closely integrated with sustainable development guidelines and policies.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution has the power to reduce inequality around the world. Doing so depends on empowering everyone – regardless of location, income, age or gender – and requires concerted action and increased cooperation from all players.

Every time we log in, log in or connect a person or device to the digital world, we exponentially drive the next great technological revolution.

More than a decade after the first-generation iPhone® was launched as a "breakthrough Internet communications tool," a new digital world driven by big data, artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), mobile and cloud is set to profoundly impact our future. Transforming the way we live, work and interact. 

As the world sprints toward bringing almost everything online—captured, analyzed, and acted upon instantly—we must ensure we are working towards a digital future that benefits everyone.


- The COVID-19 Changed The Way We Internet

Stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), with movie theaters closed and no restaurants to dine in, Americans have been spending more of their lives online. We are looking to connect and entertain ourselves, but are turning away from our phones. 

With the rise of social distancing, we are seeking out new ways to connect, mostly through video chat. We have suddenly become reliant on services that allow us to work and learn from home. 

The search for updates on the virus has pushed up readership for local and established newspapers, but not partisan sites. Video games have been gaining while sports have lost out.

The COVID-19 pandemic crisis has demonstrated the importance of internet resilience. Seamless, secure and privacy-preserving connectivity is critical to meeting unprecedented challenges. 

The Château de Saumur_France_081421A
[The Château de Saumur, France]

- The Internet of the Future

What does the digital future mean? In a narrow sense, the term "digital future" refers to all aspects of the emergence and proliferation of digital technologies and the developments they cause. In this sense, the term “digital future” is used to limit the vision of the future to digital aspects.

We are at the beginning of a new era which will be characterized by digitalization and the constant interconnection of everything. 

The Internet of the future will be bigger, faster, more secure, and more private. As digital events merge with the virtual and physical worlds, it will also become more immersive. For example, people will be able to:

  • Work, shop or meet friends in a three-dimensional version of the internet called the Metaverse
  • Using eye implants to view social media messages
  • Using a virtual cloud instead of hardware data storage
  • Using 3D printing instead of traditional shopping

The Internet will also become omnipresent, omniscient, and almost omnipotent. Everyone in the world will have access to the Internet, and it will benefit everyone and almost everything.

The goal of the next generation of the Internet is, through abstraction and automation, to enable any desired bandwidth spontaneously between any and all participants or data centers. 

For this, consistent further development of the existing technologies is required, and additionally, new approaches to the integration of infrastructure, software, and services must be conceived. Efficient data processing is becoming increasingly important – in the future, it is conceivable that analysis will already occur during the transmission process in the network.


 - Global Next Generation Internet Initiatives

Future Internet is a general term for research activities on new architectures for the Internet. Next Generation Internet Initiatives are the research activities going on around the world towards developing the current Internet in terms of service and speed and launching a entirely new range of applications which will make use of these new opportunities, bringing wealth and knowledge to the entire world. 

The mission of the Next Generation Internet Initiative is to reimagine and redesign the Internet of tomorrow to reflect fundamental human values. 

Today, the Internet is the key to almost every social or economic activity. It is a real value creator that reshapes economies and societies. This trend is irreversible, and the Internet's important role in global society and economy will continue to increase. 

However, concerns about personal data and transparency remain. People also need better services from the Internet and greater user empowerment to shape their online experiences. It is vital that the next generation of the Internet puts people at the center so that it can realize its full potential for society and the economy.


- Future Internet Architecture

Future Internet Architecture (FIA) is a set of approaches to redesigning the Internet. These approaches can include small incremental steps or a complete redesign. The National Science Foundation (NSF) invites research teams to submit FIA project proposals.

Some examples of future Internet architecture include:

  • NEBULA: Based on the assumption that cloud computing will account for a larger portion of Internet application workloads
  • Integrated Services (IntServ) and Differentiated Services (DiffServ): Examples of Next-Generation Internet Architecture

Future Internet architecture can address the shortcomings of the current Internet architecture, such as:

  • Lack of support for emerging networking paradigms
  • Multi-dimensional scalability, including scale, performance, security, functions, and services

The Internet as we know it today is a critical infrastructure consisting of communication services and end-user applications that has transformed every aspect of our lives. 


- Internet Fragmentation

Internet fragmentation, also known as splintering, is the fragmentation of the open, globally connected Internet into a collection of isolated networks controlled by governments or corporations. This can happen due to content filtering and censorship.

If the Internet becomes fragmented, access to resources, websites, platforms, and services will depend on who we are and where we are.

But the free flow of information online is now threatened by increasing fragmentation across borders. This fragmentation of the Internet is both a driver and a reflection of the increasing fragmentation of the world order.

The U.S. government’s effort to ban the viral Chinese video app TikTok reflects the reality that the U.S. government’s response to China’s growing influence online has fragmented the global internet. Internet policy and international affairs go hand in hand.


[More to come ...]



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