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Tech Nightmares That Keep Turing Award Winners ­p at Night

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Vinton Cerf at the 2015 Heidelberg Laureate Forum

Vinton Cerf speaking at the 2015 Heidelberg Laureate Forum.

Credit: C. Flemming / Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation

Three A.M. Turing Award winning-scientists discuss technology trends they find very troubling, with Google chief Internet evangelist Vinton Cerf particularly worried about "the potential loss of openness and freedom on the Internet." He says such freedom has enabled unprecedented levels of information sharing, as well as new business models, and he thinks debate over the "right to be forgotten" is especially complex. "The other side of that coin is the freedom of people to know things they should know, and I don't think that side is getting as much visibility as it should," Cerf says.

Cerf also is worried about a looming "digital dark age" due to the lack of a regime that allows long-term preservation of content and the software for rendering it.

Meanwhile, cryptography pioneer Manuel Blum sees a dearth of computerization of transportation as a concerning issue, as he thinks such a development will make people safer.

Taking the opposite view is RSA encryption algorithm co-creator Leonard Adleman, who worries about computers evolving so quickly they overtake humans. He projects computers will "probably have their own destinies and find their own ways to evolve. They may not need artificial intelligence to become independent."

From IDG News Service
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