Greening Resource-Hungry AI to Protect the Climate

AI tools like ChatGPT are extremely energy- and resource-hungry, threatening the climate. Researchers are finding ways to "green" AI by making data centers more energy efficient and redesigning AI models to require less computing power.


  • AI demand is surging with the use of energy-intensive tools like ChatGPT and Stable Diffusion image generator. A single ChatGPT question takes 10x more energy than a Google search.
  • AI's energy use relies heavily on fossil fuels, releasing greenhouse gases that worsen climate change. If all Google searches used AI, emissions would equal a country like Ireland.
  • Larger AI models aren't always better but use exponentially more computing resources. Software improvements like "power capping" reduce energy waste in data centers.
  • Green electricity can power data centers but competes with other uses and needs water for cooling. Water scarcity also limits locations.
  • Researchers are finding ways to build accurate models that need less computing, inspired by efficiencies in nature.
  • Reimagining AI design focuses on sustainability from the start instead of maximum capability at any cost. Metrics and reporting lead to responsibility.


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