Several recent researches have consistently found one thing – training artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm is energy consuming. The implication of these research findings is that carbon footprints of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) for that matter is a concern that we must all address before it gets out of hand.
Business technology has gained so much global wide acceptance to the extent that companies that are not heavily relying on the power of technology is perceived to be backward and less strategic in their thinking and planning.
Carbon footprints of artificial intelligence (AI) – why must we care?
Well, the simple answer to this question is “we must care about carbon footprint of AI because it will kill us all and the generation unborn if we don’t take the right action now”.
Business processes no doubt have improved businesses bottom line as a result of utilizing the power of AI, but so has producing vehicles with high emission by some car manufacturers in the past greatly improved the bottom line of companies engaging in these indecent acts.
Ethical business practice demands that some non-financial factors are given serious consideration when taking business decisions. This is where the human face of businesses are seen the most. Corporate social responsibility should not only be on paper- actions always speak louder than words.
Below are some potential harmful effects that carbon footprint of AI can bring to us and our businesses if we do nothing.
- Climate changes: I understand that views on climatic change varies and as such, I have to make my stand clear on this. I am an advocate of preserving the mother earth. That said, back to the main topic of discussion. The ever-increasing investment and what is tending towards we being over reliant on AI would no doubt have negative impact on the climate that we all live in- the Amazon and the Antarctica are feeling the effects of strong emissions coming from training AI.
- Health: we may take this for granted but the fact still remains that emissions coming from the training if AI.
- Global warming: the rate at which we now experience extreme weather is alarming. What will it become when we fold our arms and do nothing? Just a food for thought.
- For the sake of the unborn generation: posterity will never forgive us if we don’t do anything now to preserve the earth, we currently live in.
- Reputation: the reputation of a company is usually a factor looked at by all stakeholder when considering having any involvement with her.
- War and dispute: I see countries and regions rising against one another due to the potential harmful effects on our environment. I sincerely hope that we don’t get to that extent but it is a possibility.
- Fines and litigations: except those at the helm of affairs in an organization will decide to go the way many high-profile organizations have gone in the past which is to hide reports relating to the harmful effects of their activities on the climate. But the big question is ‘for how long will they keep this information away from the prying eyes of the public?’
- 22: the right thing is ‘always do the right thing’
How to deal with carbon footprints of artificial intelligence
Imagine what the world would have been if those before us had messed it up the environment? It is not enough to just make rules, impose fines and to make thousands of regulations.
Companies and businesses should not wait for government and regulatory authorities to make pronouncements before doing the right thing. It is not enough to be compliant. The spirit of ethical business should always be invoked in all the business dealings.
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