Why it’s time to clean up AI’s carbon footprint

  • August 1, 2023
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Generative AI uses huge amounts of electricity and water to power it, and the problem is only going to get worse

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Technology never exists in a vacuum, and the rise of cryptocurrency in the last two or three years shows that. While plenty of people were making extraordinary amounts of money from investing in bitcoin and its competitors, there was consternation about the impact those get-rich-quick speculators had on the environment.

Mining cryptocurrency was environmentally taxing. The core principle behind it was that you had to expend effort to get rich. To mint a bitcoin or another cryptocurrency, you had to first “mine” it. Your computer would be tasked with completing complicated equations that, if successfully done, could create a new entry on to the blockchain.

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