It’s time to talk about the carbon footprint of artificial intelligence

Sarah DeWeerdt

Anthropocene

Nov 10, 2020

As AI becomes increasingly widespread, the impact of its many services, programs, algorithms, and functions continues to grow. The powerful computers needed to power AI use large quantities of energy and, as a result, put out large quantities of carbon emissions. If the current pace continues, the environmental impact of AI could be severe. Fortunately, the trajectory can be altered. A new program called Carbontracker, developed by researchers at the University of Copenhagen, can be used in conjunction with machine learning to keep track of the carbon footprint of AI. This data, they hope, can raise awareness about the negative climate effect and spur change.

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