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Computers that run on heat not electricity could power future AIs

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WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF

AI is getting incredibly energy hungry and that’s a problem for companies trying to keep their costs and carbon emissions in check, so people are looking for solutions.

 

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As Artificial Intelligence (AI) models use ever increasing amounts of power researchers are exploring the possibility of using heat instead of electricity to power computers running AI algorithms. This alternative approach is aimed at reducing the energy consumption of AI systems like ChatGPT, which currently consumes a significant amount of energy.

 

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ChatGPT, an AI model developed by OpenAI, has been praised for its ability to learn complex language capabilities. However, its energy consumption has raised eyebrows, with some estimates suggesting it consumes as much energy as over 30,000 households in the US on a daily basis.

The University of Geneva’s Nicolas Brunner suggests that utilizing heat as the energy source for AI systems – whether that’s using waste heat or other forms of heat recycled from the computer systems themselves – could potentially address this issue. Heat-driven computers have the potential to run algorithms powering neural networks and AI, while significantly reducing energy usage.

By harnessing heat as a power source, these computers could offer a more sustainable solution for energy-intensive tasks such as language processing. This innovation has the potential to make AI technologies more environmentally friendly and efficient.

 

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Although this research is still in its early stages, it holds promise for the future of AI technology. Further development in heat-driven computing could lead to more energy-efficient and sustainable AI systems, benefiting both the environment and the broader adoption of AI.

Overall, the exploration of heat-driven computers as an alternative to electricity-powered systems showcases the ongoing efforts to create greener technologies. The potential energy savings and improved environmental impact of heat-driven AI systems highlight the importance of sustainable innovation in the field of artificial intelligence.

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