Berners-Lee: Challenge of the Web is 'creative connectivity'

The next step could be a Web infrastructure that enables collective thinking to solve problems

The challenge of the Web is to build a system that enables people to creatively solve problems that they couldn't solve on their own, said Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web and director of the World Wide Web Consortium.

Speaking Wednesday at the "Future of the Web Debate," at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Tetherless World Research Constellation, Berners-Lee said one of the Web's key challenges is what he calls "connective creativity."

Creativity is that "Eureka moment," when a long-sought-after answer to a problem seems to come out of nowhere, said Berners-Lee, the senior research scientist at the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence.

"Creativity is what happens in one person's brain, when things start to click together because you have been consciously reading up about the problem and all the things you think would be relevant [to solving that problem], and quite subconsciously your brain has been fitting together a solution," he said.

Then the answer suddenly comes to you when you're in the shower or jogging, he said.

"That's an interesting thing that happens and it happens in just one brain," he said. "Now just suppose, given that we have those huge problems out there to solve in health care [such as ] looking for a cure for AIDS, or cancer, that part of the answer might be in my brain and another part might be in somebody else's brain. So how can we make the Web a substrate so that all those half-formed ideas out there [are connected]?"

In the future, the Web should be able to connect people's ideas in such a way that one person could store his partly formed ideas and leave a trail of his thinking for other people trying to solve the same problem, he said.

"How can we make the Web be an infrastructure that allows more than one person to think more effectively than one person can? There's no proof yet that for creative thinking we've done that," he said. "The challenge is to build a system that allows the formation of half-formed ideas and allows collective creativity."

His speech was also available via a live Webcast.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Linda Rosencrance

Computerworld
Show Comments

Essentials

Brother MFC-L3745CDW Colour Laser Multifunction

Learn more >

Mobile

Exec

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?