AMSTERDAM- Artificial intelligence (AI) or artificial intelligence is always an interesting topic to discuss. And recently a study revealed that artificial intelligence poses a major danger to the environment.
Research written by Alex de Vries, a doctoral candidate at the VU Amsterdam School of Business and Economics, states that the energy needs of the artificial intelligence industry are so large that they could cause significant environmental impacts.
He is not unconvinced that in the near future energy needs are expected to match the energy needs of smaller countries, which could lead to worse environmental impacts than previously estimated.
“According to production estimates in the next few years, newly produced AI devices will be responsible for the same electricity consumption as my home country, the Netherlands, by 2027,” de Vries said as quoted by GizmodoSunday (10/15/2023).
“This is also in the same range as electricity consumption in countries like Sweden or Argentina,” he continued.
While electricity consumption levels in the tech sector have remained relatively stable over the years, De Vries said the emergence of the AI chatbot war between tech giants such as Microsoft, Google and OpenAI, may have ushered in a new era.
De Vries’ research specifically looked at electricity consumption in the AI sector as applied to what is called the “inference phase” of AI production. According to him, this energy consumption phase can be very high and, at times, accounts for the majority of energy spent during the AI lifecycle.
Due to the potential increase in the power needs of AI in the coming years, developers are expected to focus not only on optimizing AI, but also on critically considering the need for using AI.
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