Powering Artificial Intelligence Training with Fossil Fuels - Credit: New Scientist

Powering Artificial Intelligence Training with Fossil Fuels

Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly important in our lives, from powering self-driving cars to helping diagnose medical conditions. But the training of AI systems has a hidden cost – it’s powered mostly by fossil fuels.

A new study published in Nature Communications found that most of the energy used to train AI models comes from burning coal and other fossil fuels. This means that while AI can help us reduce emissions in some areas, its own production could be contributing significantly to climate change.

The researchers looked at data centers around the world and found that they are responsible for about 3 percent of global electricity consumption, with more than 70 percent coming from non-renewable sources such as coal and natural gas. They then estimated how much energy was needed to train different types of machine learning algorithms on large datasets, which revealed that up to 90 percent of this energy came from burning fossil fuels.

This is concerning because it means that even if we switch over completely to renewable sources for electricity generation, there will still be a significant amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere due to AI training activities alone. The authors suggest several ways this problem could be addressed: using more efficient hardware; optimizing software so less computing power is required; or switching over entirely to renewable sources for powering data centers.

However, these solutions come with their own challenges – making hardware more efficient requires investment in research and development; optimizing software takes time and resources; and transitioning fully onto renewables would require massive infrastructure changes across many countries worldwide.

In addition, there are ethical considerations when it comes to using renewable energy sources for training AI models – who should have access? Who should pay? And what kind of regulations need to be put in place? These questions need further exploration before any meaningful progress can be made towards reducing emissions associated with artificial intelligence production processes.

It’s clear that artificial intelligence (AI) plays an ever-increasing role in our lives today – whether it’s helping self-driving cars navigate roads safely or aiding doctors make diagnoses faster than ever before – but what isn’t often discussed is how much energy goes into producing these technologies behind the scenes – namely through training them on large datasets which relies heavily on burning fossil fuels like coal and natural gas . A recent study published by Nature Communications highlighted just how big an issue this really is: according tot heir findings , up tp 90%of all energy used during machine learning algorithm training comes directly from non-renewable sources! This means not only does relying on traditional forms of fuel contribute significantly towards climate change but also puts us at risk fo running out sooner rather than later given current rates og consumption .

Fortunately , there are steps we can take now both individually as well as collectively as a society too address this growing concern . On an individual level , companies developing Artificial Intelligence technology must invest heavily into researching ways too make their hardware more efficient ; optimize existing software so less computing power is necessary ; or transition entirely onto renewable energies such as solar or wind power where possible . Of course , each solution presents its own unique set off challenges : investing money into R&D may not always yield results quickly enough ; optimising existing code may take longer than expected ; while transitioning entire infrastructures over too clean energies requires substantial investments across multiple countries simultaneously .

On top off all those practical concerns though lies another layer altogether : ethical considerations surrounding who gets access too clean energies ? Who pays ? What kind off regulations do we need too put intop lace ? All these questions remain unanswered right now but hopefully will get explored soon enough so meaningful progress can start being made towards reducing emissions associated with Artificial Intelligence production processes once again !

Original source article rewritten by our AI:

New Scientist




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