World Leader in AIWS Award 2019


Internet Pioner Vint Cerf is honored as World Leader in AIWS 2019.

Prize announcement

Boston Global Forum honored Vint Cerf as World Leader in AI World Society

Vinton G. Cerf has served as vice president and chief Internet evangelist for Google since October 2005. In this role, he is responsible for identifying new enabling technologies to support the development of advanced, Internet-based products and services from Google. He is also an active public face for Google in the Internet world.

Cerf is the former senior vice president of Technology Strategy for MCI. In this role, Cerf was responsible for helping to guide corporate strategy development from the technical perspective. Previously, Cerf served as MCI’s senior vice president of Architecture and Technology, leading a team of architects and engineers to design advanced networking frameworks including Internet-based solutions for delivering a combination of data, information, voice and video services for business and consumer use.

Widely known as one of the “Fathers of the Internet,” Cerf is the co-designer of the TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of the Internet. In December 1997, President Clinton presented the U.S. National Medal of Technology to Cerf and his colleague, Robert E. Kahn, for founding and developing the Internet. Kahn and Cerf were named the recipients of the ACM Alan M. Turing award in 2004 for their work on the Internet protocols. The Turing award is sometimes called the “Nobel Prize of Computer Science.” In November 2005, President George Bush awarded Cerf and Kahn the Presidential Medal of Freedom for their work. The medal is the highest civilian award given by the United States to its citizens. In April 2008, Cerf and Kahn received the prestigious Japan Prize.

Prior to rejoining MCI in 1994, Cerf was vice president of the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI). As vice president of MCI Digital Information Services from 1982-1986, he led the engineering of MCI Mail, the first commercial email service to be connected to the Internet. During his tenure from 1976-1982 with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Cerf played a key role leading the development of Internet and Internet-related packet data and security technologies.

Vint Cerf served as chairman of the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) from 2000-2007. Cerf also served as founding president of the Internet Society from 1992-1995 and in 1999 served a term as Chairman of the Board. In addition, Cerf is honorary chairman of the IPv6 Forum, dedicated to raising awareness and speeding introduction of the new Internet protocol. Cerf served as a member of the U.S. Presidential Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC) from 1997 to 2001 and serves on several national, state and industry committees focused on cyber-security. Cerf sits on the Board of Directors for the Endowment for Excellence in Education, the Americas Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), CosmosID, StopBadWare, the Gorilla Foundation and the Intaba Institute (for the Deaf). Cerf also sits on the Board of Associates of Gallaudet University. He serves on the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Advisory Committee and serves as Chair of the Visitors Committee on Advanced Technology of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology. He also serves as 1st Vice President and Treasurer of the National Science & Technology Medals Foundation. Cerf is a Fellow of the IEEE, ACM, and American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the International Engineering Consortium, the Computer History Museum, the Annenberg Center for Communications at USC, the Swedish Royal Academy of Engineering, the American Philosophical Society, the Hasso Platner Institute and is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering. In 2011, he was made Distinguished Fellow of the British Computer Society.

Cerf is a recipient of numerous awards and commendations in connection with his work on the Internet. These include the Marconi Fellowship, Charles Stark Draper award of the National Academy of Engineering, the Prince of Asturias award for science and technology, the National Medal of Science from Tunisia, the St. Cyril and St. Methodius Order (Grand Cross) of Bulgaria, the Alexander Graham Bell Award presented by the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf, the NEC Computer and Communications Prize, the Silver Medal of the International Telecommunications Union, the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal, the IEEE Koji Kobayashi Award, the ACM Software and Systems Award, the ACM SIGCOMM Award, the Computer and Communications Industries Association Industry Legend Award, installation in the Inventors Hall of Fame, the Yuri Rubinsky Web Award, the Kilby Award , the Rotary Club International Paul P. Harris Medal, the Joseph Priestley Award from Dickinson College, the Yankee Group/Interop/Network World Lifetime Achievement Award, the George R. Stibitz Award, the Werner Wolter Award, the Andrew Saks Engineering Award, the IEEE Third Millennium Medal, the Computerworld/Smithsonian Leadership Award, the J.D. Edwards Leadership Award for Collaboration, World Institute on Disability Annual Award and the Library of Congress Bicentennial Living Legend medal. Cerf was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in May 2006. He was made an Eminent Member of the IEEE Eta Kappa Nu (HKN) honor society in 2009. In 2010 he received a Lifetime Webby Award. In February 2011 he was named a Stanford Engineering School “Hero” for his work on the Internet and received a lifetime achievement award from the Oxford Internet Institute. In December 1994, People magazine identified Cerf as one of that year’s “25 Most Intriguing People.”

In addition to his work on behalf of Google and the Internet, Cerf has served as a technical advisor to production for “Gene Roddenberry’s Earth: Final Conflict” and made a special guest appearance on the program in May 1998. Cerf has appeared on television programs NextWave with Leonard Nimoy and often co-hosted World Business Review with Alexander Haig and Caspar Weinberger. Cerf also holds an appointment as distinguished visiting scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory where he is working on the design of an interplanetary Internet. Cerf holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Stanford University and Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from UCLA. He also holds honorary Doctorate degrees from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich; Lulea University of Technology, Sweden; University of the Balearic Islands, Palma; Capitol College, Maryland; Gettysburg College, Pennsylvania; George Mason University, Virginia; Rovira i Virgili University, Tarragona, Spain; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York; the University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands; Brooklyn Polytechnic; Marymount University; the University of Pisa; the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications; Tschingua University, Beijing, China; the University of Zaragoza, Spain; the Technical University of Cartagena, Spain; the Polytechnic University of Madrid, Spain; Bethany College, Kansas; the Moscow State University of International Relations and the Buenos Aires Institute of Technology.

His personal interests include fine wine, gourmet cooking and science fiction. Cerf and his wife, Sigrid, were married in 1966 and have two sons, David and Bennett.

Recognition Remarks

At the AI World Society – G7 Summit Conference, Boston Global Forum honored one of the Father of Internet, Vint Cerf, as World Leader in AI World Society Award. Governor Michael Dukakis, Chairman of the BGF delivered remarks of honor.

Below is Remarks of Honor by Governor Michael Dukakis, Chairman of the Boston Global Forum:


Each year at this conference we grant our World Leader in AI World Society award. I’m pleased to announce that this year’s recipient is Vinton Cerf.

Vint Cerf is recognized as a father of the Internet, sharing the title with co-inventor Bob Kahn. His contributions have been widely acknowledged with a long list of honorary degrees, including doctorates from Yale and Tsinghua University, and numerous awards, including the U.S. National Medal of Technology, the Turing Award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Marconi Prize. He was an inaugural inductee of the Internet Hall of Fame.

After his pioneering work in developing the Internet while at the U.S, Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Mr. Cerf helped create the first commercial email system. Then, in the 1990s, along with Bob Kahn and others, he founded the Internet Society –ISOC – to provide leadership in creating Internet standards and policy. He subsequently helped found ICANN, which coordinates name and numerical spaces on the Internet, and would later serve as chairman of ICANN’s board. He serves on the advisory board of the Council on Cyber Security and is a past president of the Association for Computing Machinery,

Since 2005, Mr. Cerf has been with Google as a Vice President and its Chief Internet Evangelist, a position that has enabled him to address major issues in areas such as the environment, digital transformation, and Artificial Intelligence. AI presents both opportunity and challenge, holding out great promise while also posing substantial risk, and Mr. Cerf has been a leading voice in how AI can be used to advance society’s collective interests.

A distinguishing feature of Mr. Cerf’s long and remarkable career has been his effort to ensure that the Internet serves humanitarian values. He has been a tireless advocate of net neutrality and for making broadband technology more widely available, and has supported innovative approaches to global problems, including the digital divide and the gender gap.

The digital and internet revolution is transforming how we live, work, and connect with each other, and few individuals have made a larger and more positive contribution to that transformation than has Vint Cerf. We are honored to recognize him as this year’s recipient of the World Leader in AI World Society award.


On receiving the World Leader Award in Artificial Intelligence Society, Mr. Cerf gave a speech at the AI World Society – G7 Summit Conference.

Award Ceremony Video

Award Ceremony Speech

Hello, my name is Vint Cerf. I’m Google’s chief internet evangelist. Some of you might know me as one of the fathers of the Internet. It’s a great honor to be recognized by the AI World Society and certainly by Governor Dukakis, and I’m very sorry that I can’t be there in person, but I will say that this focus of attention on artificial intelligence and the role that it might play and present in our future is timely and important. In fact I would go so far as to suggest that we should be equally concerned in general about any kind of software, especially if it’s in some kind of a device that has the ability to communicate on the Internet, and the reason for that quite frankly is that once those devices are online, they’re potentially reachable by anyone anywhere on the internet, and that raises all kinds of potential security hazards, so the attack surface, if I can use that term, is quite broad when any devices is attached to the global Internet.

So, we should be very concerned not only about artificial intelligence but a dog software in general, especially software that has bugs. And unfortunately, we’re at the stage now eight years into programming computers where we haven’t figured out how to write software that doesn’t have bugs, the consequence of that of course is that if those bugs are discovered, they may be exploited by people with malicious intent, and there can be all kinds of side effects so in some respects I think we should be as concerned about software and its bugs as we should be about artificial intelligence and our uncertainty about how some of it works, in particular machine learning systems where the multi-layer neural networks are programmed by running them through a whole series of examples, whether it’s images or sound or text or something else, out of which we arrange this multi-layer neural network weights and produce certain behaviors which appear to do what we wanted to do but might have internal biases that we didn’t recognize or might break in ways that we can’t anticipate. There were small change in image might cause a completely wrong decision or recognition to be made by the artificially intelligent machine learning system, so I think we are well advised to stay focused on artificial intelligence machine learning bugs in software. How we use these things, how much autonomy we offer to devices that are running this kind of software, especially if it’s going to make decisions that we don’t have any role to play, and even your refrigerator could be abused by running software in the device and in the operating system or in the in the computer in such a way that you don’t notice that there’s anything wrong. The ice cream stays cold; your milk stays cold but this device which is on the network is also being used as part of a botnet. It’s generating spam. It’s distributing malware to be a variety of things, and we wouldn’t notice because it’s doing its other functions correctly as well. This leads to a very general concern about understanding about the safety the security, the integrity of software that we use in communicating devices, so I’m hoping to have an opportunity to participate in 2020. I apologize for my inability to do so this year but I do appreciate the recognition, of the importance of this topic, and I hope that during the 2019 conference that you’ll come up with some good ideas for paths to follow to create a more safe more stable and secure environment, so thanks again very much for this recognition. I look forward to seeing you on the net.