AIs are expensive for the environment, as they consume high water; understand

A artificial intelligence (AI) has given rise to advanced technologies and has brought significant benefits to various sectors of society. And no wonder, as AIs have the ability to process enormous volumes of data, learn from it and generate humanized responses in real time.

AI, including doChatGPT, offers numerous advantages in areas such as customer service, healthcare, task automation, language translation, scientific research, and more. Thus, it can improve the efficiency, precision and speed of processes, allowing companies and organizations to achieve results in a shorter period of time.

24/7 virtual assistance powered by AI like ChatGPT helps meet customer needs faster, increasing customer satisfaction and saving businesses time and resources. However, did you know that they also generate environmental impacts?

Artificial intelligence worsens environmental crises

As AIs become more integrated into our everyday lives and business processes, there are growing concerns about their impacts on the environment. In this context, the global water crisis is one of the most alarming concerns.

In many regions of the world, the availability of fresh water is decreasing due to overexploitation, pollution and climate change. Furthermore, the increasing demand for water to supply growing populations and industrial activities puts additional pressure on water resources.

The growing consumption of water by information technology infrastructures, such as data centers that underpin AI, has become a critical point of concern.

Although the connection between AI and water is not immediately apparent, IT infrastructure requires an immense amount of fresh water for cooling. data centers.

These data processing centers require cooling systems to prevent servers from overheating, and water is often used in this process.

A water is critical to maintaining server temperatures at acceptable operational levels, ensuring reliable operation of AI systems.

Image: Cookieone/PixAbay/Reproduction

Can palliative measures help?

Despite many data centers present premises for sustainable consumption and service, the truth is that most companies today pay for carbon credits or green credits, which are certifications that the company is sustainable.

In practice, this means that the company maintains its normal practices while paying someone else to reduce its consumption. From the point of view of drinking water consumption, nothing changes.

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As the demand for AI grows, the pressure on water resources also increases. This raises important questions about the sustainability of AI growth and the need to develop more resource-efficient solutions.

The data mentioned in the reports of the Microsoft It’s from Googlewhich point to significant increases in water consumption in recent years, are indicative of an alarming trend.

However, the same companies, Microsoft and Google, also own some of the largest data centers in the world, conveniently positioned in strategic regions where legislation is more lenient.

While there is some discrepancy in the statistics, both numbers suggest that water usage related to IT infrastructure and AI is growing substantially. But it is important to highlight that specific data may vary depending on the region and measurement methodology.

Concrete results already show that the research is right

In the state of Iowa, in Des Moines, where interest in AI has grown the most in the USA, 6% of water reserves have already been consumed. Coincidence or not, this is a vivid example of the challenges that can arise with increased demand for AI in specific areas.

This type of localized impact on reserves water is a cause for concern, especially in regions where water resources are already under pressure due to factors such as population growth and climate change.