Tim Berners Lee, the inventor of the web talks about his visions for the next generation web where all raw units of data (and not just textual information or pictures and video) are linked together. This could very well make way for a new paradigm on how data is retrieved and used.
If you haven’t got the slightest clue on what he’s talking about, take a look at Wolfram Alpha – they’ve pretty much achieved the goal. However, what’s been done here in a single web-site (drawing from it’s own in-house data store), Tim envisions for the entire web.
A look at this side-by-side comparison of a conventional search vs. a search on Wolfram Alpha should help clarify it further.