Cautioning against the possibility of a ‘digital Dark Age’, Internet pioneer Vint Cerf expressed concern over all the documents and images that are saved on computers, saying ‘it will eventually be lost’.
Google vice-president Cerf said the issue is very serious as this could possibly occur due to the continued use of existing hardware and software that will become obsolete with the advancing technology.
Cerf, who is also known as “father of the internet”, fears that the situation may be worse than we are thinking as there is a possibility that we will leave very little or no record of the 21st Century for our future generations as we enter in the so-called “digital Dark Age”.
“Even if we accumulate vast archives of digital content, we may not actually know what it is” Cerf said while addressing the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Jose.
Cerf promoted an idea for preserving every single piece of hardware and software so that it never becomes outdated. The concept is very similar to what happens in a museum. But this time it would be in digital form, i.e. in servers in the cloud.
Cerf’s concept has been named “digital vellum” and was demonstrated by Mahadev Satyanarayanan at the Carnegie Mellon University.
If the idea works, the memories of digital world that we hold today could be accessible for the coming generations