The 40th anniversary of the birth of the Internet was celebrated in the US, with events being organised at the University of California and the Computer History Museum in Los Angeles to mark the occasion.

Industry leaders, researchers and analysts, among others, attended the function at the California University on Thursday, Xinhua reported.

Computer science professor of the university, Leonard Kleinrock, who on Oct 29, 1969 headed a team to send the first message over the ARPANET, which later came to be known as Internet, also attended the event.

“The moment the Internet was born, ushered in a technological revolution that has transformed communications, education, culture, business and entertainment across the globe, leading to dramatic change in our social, political and economic lives,” the university said in a statement.

Activities were also planned at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, to mark the occasion.

“The 1969 connection was not just a symbolic milestone in the project that led to the Internet, it connected computers and eventually billions of people to each other,” Marc Weber, founding curator of the museum’s Internet History Programme, said in a statement.

“In the 1960s, a few hundred users could have accounts on a single large computer using terminals, and exchange messages and files between them. But each of those little communities was an island, isolated from others,” Weber noted.

“By reliably connecting different kinds of computers to each other, the ARPANET took a crucial step toward the online world that links nearly a third of the world’s population today,” he said.

Four decades after its birth, the Internet is seen by some to have encountered some kind of middle-age crisis. But others argue that it is still in the early stage of innovations.

At a symposium hosted this month by market research firm Gartner, Eric Schmidt, chief executive officer of Internet search giant Google, said he envisions a radically changed Internet five years from now.

In the next five years, the Internet is expected to be dominated by social media content, delivered over super-fast bandwidth in real time, he predicted.

“It’s because of this fundamental shift towards user-generated information that people will listen more to other people than to traditional sources. Learning how to rank is the great challenge of the age,” Schmidt said.

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