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Vint Cerf, Father of the Internet, Looks Forward--and Back


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Former ACM president and Google chief Internet evangelist Vint Cerf.

Former ACM president and Google chief Internet evangelist Vint Cerf believes strongly in helping to make the Internet accessible and comprehensible to all people.

Credit: Kenzo Tribouillard/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images

Former ACM president Vint Cerf, chief Internet evangelist for Google and often referred to as the "Father of the Internet," has been working with computers since the late 1950s and recently discussed the ways technology, the Internet, and he himself have changed over the decades.

Cerf, who received the ACM A.M. Turing Award in 2004, says he remains an active Internet user, especially of email, which he uses to connect with colleagues, friends, and family, including his 98-year-old mother. He believes strongly in helping to make the Internet accessible and comprehensible to all people, especially older people who do not have the intuitive grasp of the technology wielded by those who grew up with it.

He has been surprised by many of the ways in which the Internet has developed since he helped to pioneer it late last century, the most curious of which to him is the rise of social media. Cerf says he finds the social uses of the Internet perfectly explicable and natural, but worries about how abuses such as cyber bullying and harassment can be contained.

Although he retains a passion for software design and coding, Cerf no longer has the time for it, and instead focuses on his efforts on spreading access to the Internet through public policy, regulation, and new technology.

From The Washington Post
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