Opinion Technology
May 29, 2023

A Critical Look at Generative AI’s Carbon Footprint

In Brief

Image processing and chatbot creation are common tasks for data centers. These tasks are performed by thousands of computers.

AI-powered chatbots and image generators run on thousands of computers in data centers worldwide. These data centers are designed to handle massive amounts of data and perform complex computations at lightning-fast speeds. As the demand for AI-powered technologies continues to grow, so will the need for these powerful data centers.

A Critical Look of Generative AI's Carbon Footprint
@Midjourney

Generative AI is the technology behind chatbots and image generators. Generative AI creates complex outputs like a sentence, a paragraph, or an image. In applications like smart speakers or autocomplete, it can generate audio responses or suggest a search query. Chatbots and image generators are becoming more popular, and Google and Microsoft will use AI language models to improve search results. It requires more energy to build powerful models. This is because the more powerful an AI is, the more energy it takes. It is unclear how this will impact society’s future carbon footprint. Researchers are exploring ways to make AI models more energy-efficient. One approach is to use specialized hardware that can perform computations more efficiently than traditional processors.

Researchers estimate that creating a generative AI model called BERT with 110 million parameters consumed the energy of a transcontinental flight for one person in 2019. This energy usage is a serious environmental problem as the development of AI models continues to accelerate. As a result, more ecological and energy-efficient approaches to AI development are required. The carbon footprint of AI models can also be greatly reduced if renewable energy sources like solar or wind power are used.

ChatGPT is a model released by OpenAI in November 2022. It had over 1.5 billion visits in March 2023. Microsoft incorporated ChatGPT into its search engine, Bing, and made it available to everyone on May 4, 2023. A chatbot is an AI assistant that can do many different things, such as writing documents, solving math problems, and creating marketing campaigns. A model needs to be updated regularly to keep up with new data. The carbon footprint of creating ChatGPT is not known, but it is likely higher than that of GPT3. Based on the hardware and infrastructure being used, ChatGPT’s efficiency in terms of power consumption and processing speed may change. Therefore, when creating and utilizing AI models like ChatGPT, it’s crucial to take the environment’s impact and resource usage into account. It is much more expensive than a regular query to a search engine, with one chat in ChatGPT costing 2 cents and a regular Google request costing seven times less because of energy consumption.

Large generative AI models are here to stay, and people will turn to them for information. For example, if a student needs help solving a math problem, they will ask a tutor or a friend or consult a textbook. In the future, they will probably ask a chatbot. This is because a single large AI model will not ruin the environment, but if a thousand companies develop slightly different AI bots for different purposes, each used by millions of customers, energy use could become an issue. The good news is that AI can run on renewable energy. By bringing the computation to where green energy is more abundant or scheduling it for times of day when renewable energy is more available, it could be more efficient.

The public can use data about AI models’ carbon footprints to choose a “greener” chatbot. The future could be used to choose a “greener” AI system.

  • The world is getting excited about the potential of Generative AI, which researchers say is impressive, but it might be more advanced than we realize. Researchers at Microsoft and Columbia University have shown that chatbots can show evidence of AGI.

Read more related articles:

Disclaimer

In line with the Trust Project guidelines, please note that the information provided on this page is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as legal, tax, investment, financial, or any other form of advice. It is important to only invest what you can afford to lose and to seek independent financial advice if you have any doubts. For further information, we suggest referring to the terms and conditions as well as the help and support pages provided by the issuer or advertiser. MetaversePost is committed to accurate, unbiased reporting, but market conditions are subject to change without notice.

About The Author

Damir is the team leader, product manager, and editor at Metaverse Post, covering topics such as AI/ML, AGI, LLMs, Metaverse, and Web3-related fields. His articles attract a massive audience of over a million users every month. He appears to be an expert with 10 years of experience in SEO and digital marketing. Damir has been mentioned in Mashable, Wired, Cointelegraph, The New Yorker, Inside.com, Entrepreneur, BeInCrypto, and other publications. He travels between the UAE, Turkey, Russia, and the CIS as a digital nomad. Damir earned a bachelor's degree in physics, which he believes has given him the critical thinking skills needed to be successful in the ever-changing landscape of the internet. 

More articles
Damir Yalalov
Damir Yalalov

Damir is the team leader, product manager, and editor at Metaverse Post, covering topics such as AI/ML, AGI, LLMs, Metaverse, and Web3-related fields. His articles attract a massive audience of over a million users every month. He appears to be an expert with 10 years of experience in SEO and digital marketing. Damir has been mentioned in Mashable, Wired, Cointelegraph, The New Yorker, Inside.com, Entrepreneur, BeInCrypto, and other publications. He travels between the UAE, Turkey, Russia, and the CIS as a digital nomad. Damir earned a bachelor's degree in physics, which he believes has given him the critical thinking skills needed to be successful in the ever-changing landscape of the internet. 

From Ripple to The Big Green DAO: How Cryptocurrency Projects Contribute to Charity

Let's explore initiatives harnessing the potential of digital currencies for charitable causes.

Know More

AlphaFold 3, Med-Gemini, and others: The Way AI Transforms Healthcare in 2024

AI manifests in various ways in healthcare, from uncovering new genetic correlations to empowering robotic surgical systems ...

Know More
Join Our Innovative Tech Community
Read More
Read more
Crypto Exchange Jupiter To Introduce Jupiter Swap V3, Dynamic Slippage, Among Other Key Updates In Coming Weeks
Markets News Report Technology
Crypto Exchange Jupiter To Introduce Jupiter Swap V3, Dynamic Slippage, Among Other Key Updates In Coming Weeks
June 14, 2024
Polygon Debuts Its Governance Hub, Providing Unified Transparent Interface For Community Governance 
News Report Technology
Polygon Debuts Its Governance Hub, Providing Unified Transparent Interface For Community Governance 
June 14, 2024
Binance Registers Over 30M New Users In 2024, Customer Assets Surpass $100B Milestone
Markets News Report Technology
Binance Registers Over 30M New Users In 2024, Customer Assets Surpass $100B Milestone
June 14, 2024
Amazon Supports Generative AI Startups With $230M Investment, Allocates $80M To Its Second AWS Generative AI Accelerator Program
Business News Report Technology
Amazon Supports Generative AI Startups With $230M Investment, Allocates $80M To Its Second AWS Generative AI Accelerator Program
June 14, 2024