AI Can Vastly Reduce the Carbon Footprint of Humans, Here's How

The type of environmental impact that AI can end up having is essential to consider because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up hastening the impending climate catastrophe. However, it turns out that AI might actually end up producing lower carbon emissions than humans, thereby making it more sustainable than might have been the case otherwise. AI emits hundreds of times less greenhouse gasses than human beings do when it comes to writing and creating images with all things having been considered and taken into account.

This comes from a study that was published in the journal Scientific Reports and co-authored by faculty at the University of California-Irvine along with the Paul E. Wilson Distinguished Professor of Law at KU, Andrew Torrance. It bears mentioning that this study compared the carbon footprint of AI such as ChatGPT, Bloom AI, and a bunch of others to the amount of carbon emitted by humans performing the exact same tasks.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that AI emitted anywhere from 130 to 1,500 less global warming causing carbon for each page of text that it generated as compared to humans. As for illustration systems, their carbon footprint was several orders of magnitude lower per image as well, or between 310 or 2,900 less carbon dioxide equivalent.

The way that the carbon footprint of people was calculated involved a consultation with the Energy Budget, which estimates the amount of energy required to perform any given task. Humans use energy to run word processors and other forms of software that are necessary for creative processes, and AI might actually use less resources than them in this regard.

It will be interesting to see where things go from here on out, since AI has often been seen with suspicion when it comes to its overall carbon footprint. This study seems to suggest that it has a lot more to offer in this arena than people tend to give it credit for at this current point in time.

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