AI's Energy Demands Are Out of Control. Welcome to the Internet's Hyper-Consumption Era

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Artificial Intelligence News

Machine Learning,Energy,Algorithms

Generative artificial intelligence tools, now part of the everyday user experience online, are causing stress on local power grids and mass water evaporation.

This rush to add AI to as many online interactions as possible can be traced back to OpenAI’s boundary-pushing release of ChatGPT late in 2022. Silicon Valley soon became obsessed with generative AI, and nearly two years later, AI tools powered by large language models permeate the online user experience. One unfortunate side effect of this proliferation is that the computing processes required to run generative AI systems are much more resource intensive.

” While it may appear similar at first, the impact on the local environment from companies operating giant data centers is not comparable to the impact from residents who may take multiple bubble baths a week or leave the faucet running while they brush their teeth. “They're different from normal, residential users. When we get the water from the utility, and then we discharge the water back to the sewage immediately, we are just withdrawing water—we're not consuming water,” Ren says.

 

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