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Vint Cerf: Everything we do will be ERASED! You can't even find last 2 times I said this
'Digital vellum' – the key to eternal life
Cyber-pioneer Vint Cerf has warned – once again – that our digital lives are in danger of being wiped from human history.
Cerf, who was speaking at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting, reiterated calls for a "digital vellum" – referring to the ancient parchment made from calf skin and known for its resilience.
“If we want people in the future to be able to recreate what we are doing now, we are going to have to build the concept of preservation into the internet," he said.
According to the Financial Times, Cerf suggested the Open Library of Images for Virtualised Execution project between Carnegie Mellon University and IBM Research might be a possible solution.
The project takes snapshots of digital files, including the technical details of the computers for which they were designed.
Observant viewers might wonder if Cerf is worried his previous warnings have already been wiped from history, seeing that he has given two other remarkably similar speeches in the space of just one year.
Speaking at the The World Wide Web Consortium in October 2014, he called for a "digital vellum".
He said: "If we don't do something about preserving the meaning of the 'bits', we may become something of a dark century."
In March 2014 at a TED conference in Rome he said the digital era was in need of something akin to the "remarkably resilient" material vellum.
"The problem is how to correctly interpret the 'bits'," he said. "What I want to emphasis is [we will need] software that knows what the bits mean." ®