Google’s Vint Cerf warns of ‘digital Dark Age’

Pallab Ghosh interviews Vint Cerf for the BBC:

“But I think it is amusing to imagine that it is the year 3000 and you’ve done a Google search. The X-ray snapshot we are trying to capture should be transportable from one place to another. So, I should be able to move it from the Google cloud to some other cloud, or move it into a machine I have.
 
 “The key here is when you move those bits from one place to another, that you still know how to unpack them to correctly interpret the different parts. That is all achievable if we standardise the descriptions.
 
 “And that’s the key issue here — how do I ensure in the distant future that the standards are still known, and I can still interpret this carefully constructed X-ray snapshot?”

Read the full article here.

I am interested in the timescales being referred to here. Vint Cerf talks about running a Google search in the year 3000, roughly 1,000 years from now.

1,000 years ago, Europe was in the Dark Ages.

Imagine someone from the Dark Ages seeing the world today, they would barely be able to comprehend what the technology was doing. Who cares if the video on the screen is a real-time feed from the other side of the planet, when the screen lighting up has already blown your mind.

It’s the fact that we can’t possibly know what the closest equivalent action to a Google search will be in 1,000 years that work like this is worth it, even if it is a Moonshot.

The other half of the talk that is linked to is about the “Interplanetary Internet”. Clearly Mr Cerf does not think small.