Google’s Vint Cerf warns of ‘digital Dark Age’

Vint Cerf, a "father of the internet", says he is worried that all the images and documents we have been saving on computers will eventually be lost. His focus now is to resolve a new problem that threatens to eradicate our history. Our most cherished photographs increasingly exist as information, on hard drives or in "the cloud".
As technology moves on, they risk being lost in the wake of an accelerating digital revolution. "I worry a great deal about that," Mr Cerf told me. "You and I are experiencing things like this. Old formats of documents that we’ve created or presentations may not be readable by the latest version of the software because backwards compatibility is not always guaranteed.
"And so what can happen over time is that even if we accumulate vast archives of digital content, we may not actually know what it is." Vint Cerf is promoting an idea to preserve every piece of software and hardware so that it never becomes obsolete – just like what happens in a museum – but in digital form, in servers in the cloud.
If his idea works, the memories we hold so dear could be accessible for generations to come. "The solution is to take an X-ray snapshot of the content and the application and the operating system together, with a description of the machine that it runs on, and preserve that for long periods of time. And that digital snapshot will recreate the past in the future."