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Is AI the next big climate-change threat? We haven’t a clue

Dire warnings are being issued about AI’s energy needs, but new chip technologies and even AI itself could help keep demands for more electrical power in check.
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8 Aug 2019 4 Mins Read 0 comment
The data centre at CERN, the world's largest particle-physics laboratory, in Meyrin, Switzerland. Getty Images
The data centre at CERN, the world's largest particle-physics laboratory, in Meyrin, Switzerland.
By Martin Giles At a recent conference in San Francisco, Gary Dickerson took the stage and made a bold prediction. The chief executive of Applied Materials, which is a big supplier to the semiconductor industry, warned that in the absence of significant innovation in materials, chip manufacturing and design, data centers’ AI workloads could account for a tenth of the
data centers’ operations too. And, like Google's cooling win, this will benefit all kinds of workloads. That doesn’t mean data centers won’t end up guzzling significantly more power because of rising demand for AI’s wizardry, but it’s yet another reason making forecasts here is so damn hard. ( Copyright 2019 Technology Review, Inc.Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC )
By Martin Giles At a recent conference in San Francisco, Gary Dickerson took the stage and made a bold prediction. The chief executive of Applied Materials, which is a big supplier to the semiconductor industry, warned that in the absence of significant innovation in materials, chip manufacturing and design, data centers’ AI workloads could account for a tenth of the data centers’ operations too. And, like Google's cooling win, this will benefit all kinds of workloads. That doesn’t mean data centers won’t end up guzzling significantly more power because of rising demand for AI’s wizardry, but it’s yet another reason making forecasts here is so damn hard. ( Copyright 2019 Technology Review, Inc.Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC )

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