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Addressing the Environmental Impact of AI: Legislators and Standards Organizations Take Action

TL;DR

  • Governments are addressing AI’s environmental impact with new rules.
  • The ISO is making guidelines for eco-friendly AI.
  • Transparency is increasing to cut AI’s ecological footprint.

In the rapidly expanding landscape of artificial intelligence (AI), concerns regarding its environmental footprint have become increasingly prominent. As the technology permeates various aspects of daily life, the carbon emissions and resource consumption associated with AI operations have raised alarms among legislators, regulators, and environmental activists.

Legislative response to the impact of AI

Recently, legislative bodies on both sides of the Atlantic have taken steps to address the environmental impact of AI. In the United States, Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey and other senators and representatives introduced a bill to evaluate AI’s current environmental footprint and establish a standardized system for reporting future impacts. 

The proposed legislation underscores the importance of ensuring that AI development does not come at the expense of planetary health.

Similarly, the European Union has approved the “AI Act,” which mandates that high-risk AI systems, including powerful “foundation models” like ChatGPT, disclose their energy consumption, resource usage, and other environmental impacts throughout their lifecycle. 

This regulatory framework, set to take effect next year, reflects a growing recognition of the need for transparency and accountability in AI deployment.

Industry standards initiative

Concurrently, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has announced its intention to develop criteria for “sustainable AI.” These standards will encompass measures for assessing energy efficiency, raw material utilization, transportation impacts, and water consumption associated with AI technologies. 

By providing guidelines for reducing environmental harm across the AI lifecycle, from manufacturing to operation, the ISO aims to empower consumers to make informed decisions regarding their AI usage.

Challenges and solutions

Despite the growing awareness of AI’s environmental impact, significant challenges remain in accurately quantifying and mitigating these effects. Consumers lack visibility into how their AI interactions contribute to carbon emissions or strain freshwater resources. 

To address this issue, stakeholders advocate for increased transparency and data disclosure from AI developers and service providers.
The emergence of “sustainable AI” proposals in 2024 reflects a concerted effort to bridge this information gap. Promoting greater transparency and accountability aims to empower consumers and organizations to make environmentally responsible choices regarding AI utilization.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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James Kinoti

A crypto enthusiast, James finds pleasure in sharing knowledge on fintech, cryptocurrency as well as blockchain and frontier technologies. The latest innovations in the crypto industry, crypto gaming, AI, blockchain technology, and other technologies are his preoccupation. His mission: be on track with transformative applications in various industries.

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