Vinton Cerf is considered one of the geniuses, or┬ácomputer scientists, who turned on the Internet in 1983. Imagine the amount of data created since that time and you wouldn’t think that much would be lost or unreachable in the future. But he disagrees. Cerf warned that digital things created today — spreadsheets, documents, and presentations, as well as mountains of scientific data — won’t be readable in the years and centuries ahead.

This interesting information was found on Computer World in their article, “Cerf sees a problem: Today’s digital data could be gone tomorrow.”

This backward portability and compatibility could provide many difficulties in accessing and interpreting data in the future. The data can be stored, but what about the reader? Are we keeping enough technology around to access it? Should we?

These are tough questions. The article discusses some ways that they are being addressed, but I would imagine that the technology in the future will be surprising, no matter how much we prepare. Only time will tell.

Melody K. Smith

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