The human body could soon be connected to the web, says 'father of the internet' Vint Cerf

 

The human body itself could soon be connected to the web, “father of the internet” Vint Cerf has predicted.

Speaking exclusively to The Independent in a live, online Q&A yesterday, Cerf said that work was already underway to make the plan a reality after he was inspired to come up with a way of hooking medical implants up to the internet by his wife, who has cochlear implants to help her hearing.

The implants work by deciphering sounds and identifying them to the brain. Cerf said: “I’ve been thinking: ‘well why don’t I just programme TCP/IP into the speech processor so she can interact directly with the internet and get the answers back in her head’?”

Talking about the future of the internet, he said: “[It] is beginning to adopt other media and other forms of interaction than just keyboards and mice, so voice is becoming an important input and output medium, we’re beginning to see gestural kinds of interfaces happening.

“We’re starting to see this augmented reality notion, if you see in the Google Glasses: the idea is that the computer shares with you a view of the world, not only what it can see but also what it can hear and becomes a participant in your interactions with the real world.

During the half-hour interview, in which readers of the Independent also participated, Cerf also talked about Alan Turing, for whom the award he won in 2005 – often referred to as the Nobel Prize in Computing – was named. He said: “Those of us who have degrees in computer science learn very, very early on that Alan Turing was one of the eminences grises in the whole story of computing. He had very fundamental propositions for how computing works.

“The most important one, of course, is the universal Turing machine, which laid out a framework for assessing, for example, the computational cost of doing any particular calculation.” He added that, besides sharing a birthday with Turing, he felt a connection to him because the first computer he ever programmed was derived from one of the former Bletchley Park codebreaker’s designs.

Cerf predicted that Turing would be “impressed, pleased and maybe not even too surprised given the depth of his appreciation of what this kind of engine could do. His understanding of what computing actually means would give him almost instant with the cloud computing environment we see today.”

Asked about how difficult it was to defend a company like Google, which has recently been mired in controversies around users’ privacy online, he said: “We have established a pretty solid track record of offering a substantial array of things that are open and free: the software of Chrome; the software of Android; the software of the Chrome operating system, all of the products and services that are available to users are essentially free of charge to them and it’s a consequence of our very good business model related to advertising.

“I don’t think anyone is forced to use the Google products and we’ve gone out of our way to do what we can to allow people to take anything that they put into the Google system and get it back out again; the freedom and the ability to move information around.

“So, I would challenge anyone who argues that Google has abused its rapid growth. And, of course, there have been some reactions, and you know in Europe the EU has asked questions about our position in the marketplace and that negotiation and discussion continues.”

 

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
football
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Infrastructure Lead, (Trading, VCE, Converged, Hyper V)

    £600 - £900 per day: Harrington Starr: Infrastructure Lead, (Trading infrastru...

    SharePoint Engineer - Bishop's Stortford

    £30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organ...

    Automation Test Lead (C#, Selenium, SQL, XML, Web-Services)

    £50000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Automation Tes...

    SQL Technical Implementation Consultant (Java, BA, Oracle, VBA)

    £45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: SQL Technical ...

    Day In a Page

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

    US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
    Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
    Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
    Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

    The big names to look for this fashion week

    This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
    Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
    Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

    Neil Lawson Baker interview

    ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
    The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

    The model for a gadget launch

    Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
    Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
    Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

    Get well soon, Joan Rivers

    She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
    Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

    A fresh take on an old foe

    Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering