Advanced Television

AI undermines Google’s green goal

July 3, 2024

Google’s carbon emissions in 2023 were 48 per cent higher than in 2019, according to its latest environmental report. It says this is down to the hugely increased energy needed by its data centres because of the explosive growth of AI.

AI services involve considerably more processing – and therefore power – than standard online activity, prompting a series of warnings about the technology’s environmental impact. Google’s target is to reach net zero emissions by 2030 but it admits that “as we further integrate AI into our products, reducing emissions may be challenging.”

A generative AI system – such as ChatGPT – might use around 33 times more energy than machines running task-specific software, according to a recent study, reports FT.

However, Google’s report also reveals large global disparities in the impacts of its data centres. Most centres in Europe and the Americas get the majority of their energy from carbon-free sources. Data centres in the Middle East, Asia and Australia use far less carbon-free energy.

Categories: AI, Articles

Tags: , , , ,