Ever wondered what’s powering your favorite AI tool behind the scenes? It's not sipping a latte or guzzling an energy drink, but it is drinking… WATER, and lots of it.
You see, our AI companions require hydration. And they're guzzling gallons of it. Research shows ChatGPT alone gulps down about 17 ounces of water to process between five and 50 prompts. That's enough to fill your reusable water bottle.
Let me explain AI water usage. The computers that power our beloved AI tools generate a huge amount of heat. To stop them overheating, water is used in a cooling system. It's like giving them a refreshing dip in the pool, but this pool party has some serious consequences.
Microsoft reported a 34% year-on-year increase in water consumption for 2022, while Google noted a 22% rise. Imagine if humans increased our water consumption at that rate?
The question is, can we afford to keep our AI tools so well-hydrated at the expense of local populations and wildlife? And are we prepared to change the course of rivers to keep our digital assistants cool and collected?
It also poses the question of how this may impact any environmental pledges of businesses like yours and mine.
While we wait for OpenAI to weigh in on this dilemma, perhaps we could turn off the tap on our power-hungry tech when it's not totally necessary. After all, every little bit helps.
Does this change your view of AI, or are you not surprised?