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Vint Cerf: We Need to Make Room on the Net For All the Machines


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Vint Cerf addressing Smithsonian magazines The Future Is Here festival on Sunday.

Former ACM president and current Google chief Internet evangelist Vint Cerf says the current version of Internet Protocol is insufficient to handle an anticipated 1 trillion connected devices by 2036.

Credit: Rob Pegoraro/Yahoo! Tech

Google chief Internet evangelist and former ACM president Vint Cerf acknowledged at Saturday's "The Future Is Here" festival the Internet has proven to be highly scalable in the decades since its humble origins, but the Internet Protocol's (IP) current support for about 4.3 billion distinct addresses at a time for online devices is insufficient.

Work on the IPv6 protocol aims to vastly expand that number, and Cerf said such a massive body of IP addresses will be necessary to accommodate an estimated 1 trillion connected devices by 2036. He also anticipates the number of Internet users will explode to 8 billion to 10 billion by that time.

Cerf described innovative hardware projects Google is working on, such as driverless cars, admitting they are far from ready but suggesting their ability to learn from each other can surpass human drivers' competence.

Cerf also predicted the development of an interplanetary data network as more spacecraft go online. He said an interplanetary Internet facilitated by a special set of IPs would help ensure the transmission of data over vast distances across space.

"When you're working on stuff like this, it's like living in a science-fiction story and it's really a lot of fun," Cerf said.

From Yahoo! Tech
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