Credit By: BNN Breaking
Prominent tech giants like Google, Microsoft, and OpenAI are coming under more fire for the effects of their AI R&D on the environment, especially regarding water use. The amount of water required to cool powerful supercomputers is becoming a significant concern as the need for generative AI tools increases.
Water Footprint of AI
Massive datasets must be processed and trained extensively for large language models like ChatGPT. Supercomputers require a lot of water, particularly in their cooling systems, to keep from overheating. Microsoft recently disclosed that, by 2022, its water use will have increased by 34% worldwide, primarily due to AI research and its collaboration with OpenAI.
Iowa: The AI Model Birthplace
Partially trained in West Des Moines, Iowa, where Microsoft has set up data centers to support its cloud services, is OpenAI’s fourth-generation model, GPT-4. Brad Smith, the president of Microsoft, has revealed the highly confidential nature of these discoveries. Because of its relaxed environment, which permits outdoor air for cooling, the area is considered a reasonably practical location for AI training.
Increasing Effects on Water Resources
As evidenced by the large amount of water pumped in for cooling, AI research in places like Iowa can be water-intensive, potentially burdening regional water resources. For example, it was claimed that a significant amount of water was used in OpenAI’s training of GPT-4.
Taking Care of Environmental Issues
Researchers studying the environment are starting to evaluate how AI models affect the environment. Even while tech corporations continue to withhold information about how much water they use, these discoveries have brought attention to the resources needed to develop artificial intelligence. Although businesses are aware of the problem and are taking steps to lessen their water usage, questions about the long-term viability of AI research and its effects on water supplies still need to be answered.
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