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Google’s Dirty Secret: AI Development Blamed for 13% Rise in Emissions

Daniel Kim Views  

The surge in artificial intelligence (AI) has led to a dramatic increase in energy demand, resulting in a 48% increase in Google’s greenhouse gas emissions over the past five years.

According to The Guardian, Google disclosed in its annual environmental report that the company’s greenhouse gas emissions increased by 13% from the previous year, reaching 14.3 million tons.

Google has identified the rapid growth of data centers, which require a substantial amount of electricity, as the primary cause of this increase. The company stated, “There is uncertainty about the impact of AI on the future environment due to its complexity and unpredictability,” suggesting that achieving its goal of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2030 could be challenging.

Data centers, such as Google’s Gemini and OpenAI’s GPT-4, are crucial in training and operating generative AI models. As major tech companies, including Google, begin to expand their data centers, their greenhouse gas emissions are significantly increasing.

According to research firm Semi Analytics, by 2030, data centers associated with AI will consume 4.5% of the world’s total energy production. Microsoft acknowledged that its aim to achieve carbon neutrality and net harmful emissions by 2030 could be at risk due to energy usage attributed to data centers.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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