Brewster Kahle (pronounced /ˈkeɪl/ 'kale') (born October 22, 1960) is a computer engineer, internet entrepreneur, activist, and digital librarian.
Kahle graduated from MIT in 1982 with a BS degree in Computer Science & Engineering where he was a member of the Chi Phi Fraternity. The emphasis of his studies was artificial intelligence; he studied under Marvin Minsky and W. Daniel Hillis.
Kahle is the founder of the Internet Archive and the Open Content Alliance, a group of organizations committed to making a permanent, publicly accessible archive of digitized texts. Kahle is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and serves on the boards of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Knowledge, the European Archive, the Television Archive, and the Internet Archive. He is a member of the advisory board of the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program of the Library of Congress, and is a member of the National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure. In 2010 he was given an honorary doctorate in computer science from Simmons College, where he studied library science in the 1980s.
He was a member of the Thinking Machines team (1983–1992), where he developed the WAIS system, a precursor to the World Wide Web. In 1992, he started, with Bruce Gilliat, WAIS, Inc. (sold to AOL in 1995), and, in 1996, Alexa Internet (sold to Amazon.com in 1999). At the same time as he started Alexa, he founded the Internet Archive, which he continues to direct.
Kahle and his wife, Mary Austin, created the Kahle/Austin Foundation, a US$45 million trust that supports the Internet Archive and other non-profit organizations.
In his TED Talks on building free digital library, Kahle describes his vision of a free digital library, which contains books, free music concerts, TV programs, a "snapshot" of World Wide Web, etc.
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