Government defunding may curtail innovative projects like the internet, says co-creator Vint Cerf – CNBC

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Vint Cerf

“Father of the internet” Vint Cerf worries government defunding of programs may create a huge roadblock for new ideas and technology.

“It’s a serious problem,” Cerf told the audience at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas on Sunday.

Even though private companies could step in to develop products, Cerf said many don’t fund projects that won’t make them money right away. It could put projects like the internet at risk, he added.

“The worry I have, even at Google, is the willingness to invest in something that wont show profits for 10, 15 years is hard to come by,” Cerf said.

Cerf, who co-invented the internet with Bob Kahn, is currently vice president and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google. In the 1960s, he worked on a project called Arpanet, which was run by the U.S. Defense Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). It became the bones for the Internet as we know it today.

Current, Cerf serves on the National Science Board. Lack of government funding could put many current and future projects at risk. However, he pointed out innovation can lead to new careers, justifying the continued need for funding.

“(I hope) the theme of job creation will have some serious effect,” he said.

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