Every time you run a ChatGPT artificial intelligence query, you use up a little bit of an increasingly scarce resource: fresh water.
Every time you run a ChatGPT artificial intelligence query, you use up a little bit of an increasingly scarce resource: fresh water. Run some 20 to 50 queries and roughly a half liter, around 17 ounces, of fresh water from our overtaxed reservoirs is lost in the form of steam emissions.
Such are the findings of a University of California, Riverside, study that for the first time estimated the water footprint from running artificial intelligence, or AI, queries that rely on the cloud computations done in racks of servers in warehouse-sized data processing centers.
Google’s data centers in the U.S. alone consumed an estimated 12.7 billion liters of fresh water in 2021 to keep their servers cool -- at a time when droughts are exacerbating climate change -- Bourns College of Engineering researchers reported in the study, published online by the journal arXiv as a preprint. It is awaiting its peer review.
Read more at University of California, Riverside
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