If it weren't for the fact that Vint Cerf was the grandaddy of the internet, people might be pointing and laughing at him. In a TED discussion panel last night, about how technology is being used to communicate with animals, Cerf spoke freely about an internet that connects humans with animals and aliens.

But given his background, he's probably not far off the mark. From a TED blog post about the discussion panel, it appears Cerf uttered the following:

"Forty years ago we wrote the script of the internet. Thirty years ago we turned it on. We thought we were building a system to connect computers together. But we quickly learned that it's a system for connecting people.

"What's important about what these people are doing: They're beginning to learn how to communicate with species that are not us, but share a sensory environment. [They're figuring out] what it means to communicate with something that's not a person. I can't wait to see these experiments unfold.

"These interactions with other animals will teach us, ultimately, how we might interact with an alien from another world. I can hardly wait."

Of course, one man's lunacy is another's ambition—but knowing Cerf's track record, it seems likely that he's onto something. In which case, we can hardly wait either. [TED]


Image by Joi under Creative Commons license