Плетнев Александр Владиславович. От Web 4.0 к Web 5.0 будущее виртуализации в эпоху сверхсовременности

Плетнев Александр Владиславович

СПб ГОУ ВПО “Санкт-Петербургский государственный институт психологии и социальной работы”

Доцент кафедры теории и технологи социальной работы

Кандидат социологических наук

Pletnev Alexander Vladislavovich

St. Petersburg Institute of Psychology and Social Work

Associate Professor, Department of Theory and Technology of Social Work


Mail: Venger.vin@rambler.ru

УДК 316.012

От Web 4.0 к Web 5.0 будущее виртуализации в эпоху сверхсовременности




Ключевые слова: виртуализация, Web 4.0, Web 5.0, дополненная реальность, глобальное инфополе, основной вопрос философии

Abstract В ближайшие десятилетия из-за развития технологий в обществе произойдут изменения которые, сильно отразятся на повседневной жизни каждого индивида. Развитие виртуализации типа Web 4.0 Дополненная реальность приведет ко все большему соединению реального и виртуального мира. Дальнейшее развитие технологий приведет к созданию интернета будущего Web 5.0 Глобальное инфополе, который соединит цифровое пространство с мышлением человека. Эта технология не только радикально изменит привычный социальный мир, но и приведет к решению основного вопроса философии.

From Web 4.0 to Web 5.0:

 The Future of Virtualization in the Age of Ultramodernity


Key words: Virtualization, Web 4.0, Web 5.0, Augmented Reality, Global Infofield, Main Philosophical Issue

Abstract: In the coming decades, due to the development of technology in society, changes will occur that will greatly affect the everyday life of each individual. The development of virtualization such as Web 4.0 Augmented reality will lead to an increasingly connecting real and virtual world. Further development of technology will lead to the creation of the Internet of the future Web 5.0 Global infofield that will connect digital space with human thinking. This technology will not only radically change the familiar social world, but will also lead to the solution of the fundamental issue of philosophy.

Introduction. At the moment, virtualization processes are starting to take place in society, which can greatly change people’s daily lives. An examination of these processes is the research question of this article. The studied problems are on the border of social sciences and philosophy. In this study, the method of theoretical synthesis and reconceptualization will be used. The methodological basis of this study will be a set of interconnected ontological, epistemological and theoretical settings. The ontological basis of this work is interpretation. The epistemological orientation of the work is nominalism. In this paper, we adhere to an inductive research strategy. In the sociological theory, the phenomena considered in the article are not disclosed, and therefore we will first consider supernova virtualization theories such as Web 4.0 and Web 5.0. The study of new types of virtualization is not only of undoubted relevance, but also real scientific novelty.

The crisis of virtualization theory

At present, analyzing the sociological literature, it can be found that the theory of virtualization is not developing, and new publications on this topic rather cover certain aspects than move the theory forward. Existing virtualization theories appeared in the 90s of the twentieth century and go back to a common foundation. They are based on the opposition of the real and the unreal – the virtual, laid down by J. Baudrillard. At the same time, part of theories put the technological aspect of virtualization at the forefront, understanding it as a consequence of the development of computer technology [1] [7]. Other theories consider virtualization from the point of view of social change, studying the virtualization of the vital world [11] or the ever-increasing virtualization of social processes [6].

Stagnation in the development of virtualization theories has both sociological and technological reasons. From a sociological point of view, the theory of the dichotomy of the real and the virtual is an artificial contrast that is not related to social reality [12]. These theories are extremely fashionable and represent a kind of vanguard of modern sociology. However, one should take a closer look at what constitutes reality in the Baudrillard sense. In fact, this reality has a physical nature. If, for example, we are talking about the unreality of a unicorn, then we are saying that it does not exist in the physical world. The unicorn category here does not refer us to anything real, but this real is not sociological. From the perspective of the social sciences, one should speak of reality in a sociological sense. As a cultural and social phenomenon, a unicorn is as real as the consequences of its existence. And yes, in the social world it certainly exists. We inevitably come to the idea that the opposition of the real and the unreal that underlies all postmodernism makes no sense. This is a bad idea that directs science in the opposite direction from the truth. From a technological point of view, the Internet generation Web 3.0 is already an established phenomenon and its study does not bring fundamentally new information. Overcoming this theoretical crisis both from a sociological and a technological point of view is possible due to the development of the theory of virtualization as augmented reality.

Virtualization of Web 4.0 as a trend of modernity

At the moment, although augmented reality is often mentioned in scientific and professional literature, it can hardly be called serious. Augmented reality is considered mainly in two senses. On the one hand, they perceive it as a technology and consider the possibility of using this technology for profit. On the other hand, augmented reality is considered a newfangled trend in IT, which will pass as fast as all the previous ones. There are very few publications that affect the true sociological meaning of augmented reality [5]. However, augmented reality is not just another technology or fashion trend, but a fundamentally new type of social interaction that will transform social reality for a certain period of time. Similarly, the emergence of social networks has significantly changed the sphere of communication and self-presentation of individuals.

If virtual reality glasses show the individual images of hyperspace, then augmented reality glasses will be virtual characteristics that complement the real image. This technology is already being implemented, including in Russia. So in 2020, police officers will be issued points with face recognition technology FindFace Security. Augmented reality glasses can greatly benefit if you use them together with a chip that reflects basic information about a person (name, age, social status, etc.). Thanks to this technology, finding the right person even in a large crowd will be a simple task. This idea is consistent with the idea of creating a single electronic document that could replace a passport, TIN and many other documents.

Creating a single document for each individual will create new ethical and ideological contradictions in society. On the one hand, this technology is extremely useful because it will greatly simplify the workflow. For this reason, its development and implementation is only a matter of time. However, on the other hand, a single document creates the possibility for the state of totalitarian control over the individual. A state or corporation may gain access to the management of any financial or legal actions of an individual. The idea of the possibility of such control, as well as its obvious danger, is not new, and is described in the New Testament. In the Revelation of John the Evangelist, the state is metaphorically portrayed as a beast, according to which everyone “will have a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and that no one will be able to buy or sell, except for those who have this mark, or the name of the beast , or the number of his name ”(Rev. 13: 16-17). Further development of virtualization will give us a new understanding of freedom and dictatorship, and will require sociologists to find answers to these new challenges. Here we can draw a certain analogy with how the development of mobile communications influenced our understanding of freedom. If at the very beginning the development of this technology was perceived as providing freedom, that is, the ability to make calls at any time, then for an individual of the ultra-modern era, this technology is perceived more as a manifestation of not freedom, because thanks to the constant availability of cellular communication, the individual is available to employers, advertising agents and many other actors with whom he would prefer not to communicate.

It should be noted here that the described Web 4.0 technology, as well as all the described technologies necessary to realize its potential in everyday life, have already been created and are working. In other words, the full implementation of Web 4.0 is not a matter of opportunity, but a matter of corporate will and fantasy.

The introduction of augmented reality technology into everyday life and the disclosure of its creative potential is the business of the next decade. Further development of technological potential can offer humanity even more exciting prospects.

Global infofield (Web 5.0) as an inevitable trend of the future

In the field of IT, the most interesting and avant-garde technologies are those aimed at connecting electronic information networks with the human nervous system. The idea of connecting a person’s mental activity with the Internet seems completely fantastic, but it is voiced by serious experts in the field of natural and technical sciences.

The idea of the possibility of such a connection was first expressed by futurist R. Kurzweil. In the book “The Singularity Is Near”, he proposed the use of nanobots for scanning the human brain [8, p.163-167] with the aim of further establishing a connection with it. To achieve this, Kurzweil in his work proposed the use of medical neuronorobots developed by R. Freitas [3]. According to Kurzweil forecasts «The robotics (or “strong AI”) revolution involves the reverse engineering of the human brain, which means coming to understand human intelligence in information terms and then combining the resulting insights with increasingly powerful computational platforms» [8, p.87]. This bold forecast was a description of what scientists began to do afterwards.

In a joint publication by a group of scientists representing 14 reputable universities in the USA, Canada, Australia and Russia, the technological possibility of creating an “Internet of thoughts” is predicted [9]. For this purpose, it is planned to introduce “three types of neuronorobots” into the human brain [9, p.20; 10] which “could transmit wirelessly up to ~ 6 × 10 16 bits per second of synaptically processed and encoded electronic information” [9, p.2]. It is assumed that neuronorobots will move through blood vessels, be placed between brain cells and connect an external magnetic field with an internal neural magnetic field. This technology received the conditional name “neural lace”, it will allow to achieve “integration of the neural networks of the brain and computer systems at the micro level” [9, p.13]. In part, this technology has already been experimentally tested [2] and the results indicate the fundamental possibility of connecting the nervous system and the electronic network.

As a result, the described technology will create a system of technical and biological interaction of the brain / cloud (“human brain / cloud interface” (“B / CI”). The ability to exchange data between the brain and the computer will not only open up enormous prospects for the development of medical and information technologies, but and will have a huge impact on society.

The advent of this advanced technology will lead to the creation of a new generation of Internet, which we will designate as Web 5.0.

Global infofield – a global information network that has the ability to connect the nervous activity of a person with external information flows of the network. Together with the new generation of the Internet, we will be able to observe the development of a new type of virtualization. Virtualization Web 5.0 Global infofield is a type of social interaction in which the boundaries between cyberspace and social interactions in the real physical space are erased due to the possibility of a direct mental impact of a person on virtual elements. In fact, the global infofield can only conditionally be called a new type of Internet – the Internet of thoughts, because it is a fundamentally new type of network interaction that connects not computers, but thinking individuals.

At first, this technology is likely to be able to allow a person to perform only primitive operations, such as turning on devices or selecting menu items. However, over time, its capabilities will expand significantly. If the Global Infofield sufficiently reveals its potential, then it will allow each individual to join the entire volume of knowledge accumulated by mankind. This can lead to an unprecedented development of science and technology. The training period can be reduced, the concept of cramming is a thing of the past, and a person will have much more time for creative activities to transform the world. Another, no less interesting potential direction for the development of the global infofield may be collective thinking. Such thinking can combine the capabilities of a large number of people and machines into a single “super brain” to solve intellectual problems.

The concept of the development of global infofield technology seems to be ambitious, but its appearance may occur earlier than we expect. 30 years ago there was no public Internet, and information technology is being consistently improved by the criterion of price-quality ratio and functional design with an exponential rate [8]. To manage multiple communications, as well as transactions in the environment of technical and biological interaction, M. Svan suggests using the existing blockchain technology, which “can be a useful technology for combining multi-threaded experience into a single whole” [13, p. 70]. Now it’s hard to say how far the development of this technology can go. One thing is certain right now is the technology of connecting neurons with an electronic network will radically change the world.

The social and philosophical consequences of vitalization

If successfully implemented, Web 5.0 technology can become revolutionary and in its social consequences it will surpass the advent of the Internet. Thinkers have always shared the directly accessible world of thought and the sensory world. Web 5.0 blurs this line by combining the ideal and the material. Discussions about the relationship between the ideal and the material lose their relevance. Discussions about the cognizability of the world will not disappear, but they will radically change their meaning, since now a person can know the world directly.

This greatest debate, which began in Greece in the 6th century BC, ended in Russia in the 21st century. The solution of the basic question of philosophy is an extremely important event not only for a small group of intellectuals discussing issues that are not interesting to other people, but also for each individual. In popular culture, there were always images of the future, which was conceived as the era of flying machines or other incredible technologies. However, the last century has shown that time is passing, technology is improving, and the future is not coming. Instead, we are dealing with modernity, but much more dynamic – intense ultramodernity.

Sociology from the moment of its appearance suffers from the fact that it mainly describes social changes in fact when they occur under the influence of the natural sciences. This is especially noticeable in the last 20 years, when fundamentally new theoretical concepts do not appear, and the development of sociology is associated with attempts to adapt existing theories to digital reality [4]. Timely conceptualization of virtualization such as Web 5.0 is able to anticipate radical changes that will affect not only public life, but also all aspects of human existence.

The social consequences of the emergence of a global infofield as a new stage of virilization or a new type of social relations can become no less impressive than its technological consequences. The development of the global infofield will change the structure of the individual’s life world. If, in the framework of non-classical sociology, the life world and everyday experience were perceived exclusively as an individualistic and subjective phenomenon, then during the period of Web 5.0 they will become inter-individual phenomena. The social construction of reality becomes a collective process and this fact removes the contradiction between sociological nominalism and sociological realism.

The described process of collective construction of the living world begins now in the era of the traditional Internet Web 3.0. This is characteristic of the young generation Z and the young generation Α. They are not inclined to distinguish between virtual reality and physical reality. For them, reading about an event on the Internet, viewing photos, videos and commenting on this event creates the feeling that they themselves are participants in this event. Virtualization of Web 5.0 will turn this feeling into a fact of social and mental life, as information will be transmitted from brain to brain. Under these conditions, the very concept of personality will change, since it will no longer have clear boundaries.

For the sustainability of the social structure, the emergence of a global infofield can have both positive and negative consequences. Significant positive consequences could be the reduction of inequality, which has been the main problem of society at all times and the main topic of sociological research. An individual who does not have a large income or luxurious property, thanks to the global infofield, will be able to plunge into the feeling of possessing various material and symbolic goods. Obtaining elitist knowledge will also become cheaper due to the obvious cheapening of production. For a full study of Harvard sociology, it will no longer be necessary to visit Harvard. The negative consequences of the development of a global infofield may be related to health. The hasty introduction and growing popularity of this technology may not fully take into account the mental and physical capabilities of a person. First of all, scientists are faced with problems of physiological compatibility of human nervous tissue and artificial devices [14]. It is not known how harmful this technology may turn out to be for a person as a biological being. As a result, the development of a global infofield opens up unprecedented opportunities, creates new dangers for us and completely changes both the scientific picture of the world and the conditions of everyday life.

Conclusion. In general, the analysis allows us to conclude that in the coming decades, the development of technology will significantly change the daily lives of people. In sociological literature, this process of socio-technical interaction has been called virtualization. Most of the technical solutions described in the article have already been created and are working. Only technology for transferring neural information to the network is under development.

The considered virtualization of Web 4.0 augmented reality has a huge, underestimated practical potential and is capable of changing the everyday life of each individual at the moment. Without significant financial investment in technology development, corporations can create technical solutions that will bring great benefits to people.

Virtualization Web 5.0 The global infofield is a more distant, but also more exciting prospect. It will provide society with not just new technologies, but also a fundamentally new life. It is potentially capable of connecting each individual with the entire volume of knowledge accumulated by mankind. This circumstance can make the training of scientists and engineers more efficient and open prospects for the further progress of science. The global infofield is able to improve the work of each profession, to change every area of human life.

The conceptualization and theoretical understanding of augmented reality and the global infofield will give a new impetus to the development of social sciences. More than 50 years have passed since the appearance of the ethnomethodological analysis of conversations, which became the last full-fledged sociological concept, and fundamentally new large-scale concepts in this area no longer appeared. In addition, the conceptualization of supernovae virtualization will be an example of a theoretical anticipation of social change. In most cases, sociologists described social changes after the fact, not having time not only for the dynamics of social development but also for other sciences.

Understanding the global infofield will become a significant phenomenon for the entire intellectual history of mankind, as it solves the fundamental issue of philosophy. The ability to influence with thought the objects of the external world removes the contradiction between the ideal and the material, between being and consciousness, making them parts of one whole. This circumstance not only sums up the previous era of the intellectual history of mankind, but also opens up the prospect for posing fundamentally new questions that will concern mankind in the era of the global infofield.




  1. Buhl A. Die Virtuelle Gesellschaft. Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag, 1997. – 342 c.
  2. Dai, X., Hong, G., Gao, T., and Lieber, C. M. Mesh nanoelectronics: seamless integration of electronics with tissues // Accounts of Chemical Research. 2018. № 51, 309–318 pp. doi: 10.1021/acs.accounts.7b00547
  3. Freitas R. A., Jr., Bioscience L. Nanomedicine, volume I: Basic capabilities. Landes Bioscience. 1999. – 509 p.
  4. Ignatow G. Sociological Theory in the Digital Age. Routledge. 2020. – 132 p.
  5. Ivanov D.V. From globalization to post-globalization: enclaves of augmented modernity and prospects for social development // Telescope. No 1. pp. 12-18. (Иванов Д.В. От глобализации к постглобализации: анклавы дополненной современности и перспективы социального развития // Телескоп. 2019. № 1. с. 12-18.)
  6. Ivanov D.V. The virtualization of society. St. Petersburg: “Petersburg Oriental Studies”, 2000. – 96 p. (Иванов Д.В. Виртуализация общества. СПб.: “Петербургское Востоковедение”, 2000. – 96 с.).
  7. Kroker A., Weinstein М. Data trash. The theory of the virtual class. Montreal, 1994.- 180 p.
  8. Kurzweil R. The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology. Viking. 2005. – 671 p.
  9. Martins N.R.B, Angelica A, Chakravarthy K, Svidinenko Y, Boehm F.J, Opris I, Lebedev M.A, Swan M, Garan S.A, Rosenfeld J.V, Hogg T. and Freitas R.A Jr. Human Brain/Cloud Interface. // Frontiers in Neuroscience. 2019. 13:112. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2019.00112
  • Martins, N. R. B, Erlhagen, W., and Freitas, R. A. Jr. Non-destructive whole-brain monitoring using nanorobots: neural electrical data rate requirements. // International Journal of Machine Consciousness. 2012. Vol. 4, № 1. pp. 109–140. doi: 10.1142/S1793843012400069
  • Ollinaho O. Virtualization of the life-world // Human Studies. 2018. Vol. 41. Iss. 2. p 193–209.
  • Pletnev A.V. Illusions of Theoretical Sociology The Russian sociological community: history, modernity, place in world science / Materials of a scientific conference on the 100th anniversary of the Russian Sociological Society named after M.M. Kovalevsky November 10-12, 2016. / Ans. Editor: Yu.V. Asochakov. St. Petersburg: Scythia-print, 2016. 326-327. (Плетнев А.В. Иллюзии теоретической социологии Российское социологическое сообщество: история, современность, место в мировой науке / Материалы научной конференции к 100-летию Русского социологического общества имени М.М. Ковалевского 10-12 ноября 2016 года. / Отв. редактор: Ю.В. Асочаков. СПб.: Скифия-принт, 2016. с. 326-327.)
  • Swan, M. The future of brain-computer interfaces: blockchaining your way into a cloudmind // Journal of Evolution and Technology. 2016. Vol. 26 №2. 60–81 pp.
  1. Tresco, P. A., Winslow, B. D. The challenge of integrating devices into the central nervous system // Critical Reviews in Biomedical Engineering. 2011. Vol. 39. Iss. 1. 29–44pp.

doi: 10.1615/CritRevBiomedEng.v39.i1.30


 77 total views,  7 views today