Creating a Sustainable Future for AI: The Role of Blockchain

NNicholas September 22, 2023 3:02 PM

As the usage of AI and cloud computing skyrockets, concerns about their environmental impact have grown. Blockchain-based distributed networks, like CUDOS, present a potential solution for a sustainable AI future by mitigating energy usage and environmental degradation.

Environmental impact of AI and cloud computing

As AI and cloud computing continue to flourish, the environmental toll they're taking is becoming increasingly evident. This is mainly due to the energy-guzzling processors that power AI technologies, delivering billions of user-generated prompts in just seconds. As more businesses and users adopt AI, this environmental impact is expected to escalate. In fact, training a single AI model can emit the same amount of CO2 as five American cars would over their lifetime.

AI tools like ChatGPT use GPUs for their calculations, which not only require a lot of electricity, but also consume significant amounts of water to keep them cool. As AI usage continues to grow, we'll need to find more sustainable ways to power these tools. The hype around AI also puts a strain on cloud computing, which hosts a wide variety of services, from websites and apps to high-performance computing tasks like video rendering. The energy usage of global cloud computing infrastructure has already surpassed that of some entire countries.

Blockchain's potential in mitigating environmental impact

Blockchain is emerging as a potential solution to the environmental impact of AI and cloud computing. Bitcoin mining, which is a relatively young industry, currently uses renewable energy sources for almost 60% of its power. Blockchain could potentially foster a transparent and automated system for managing and allocating carbon credits, accelerating the expansion of renewable energy infrastructure. By bringing together green energy providers, we can create a globally distributed supercloud that's both cost-effective and environmentally friendly.

CUDOS, a decentralized blockchain-based network, is aiming to increase the use of distributed cloud computing in Web3 and AI ecosystems. In distributed cloud computing, the workload is divided among various cloud environments in different locations, instead of relying on a centralized provider. This approach, along with innovative solutions such as leveraging idle compute resources and reusing excess heat from data centers, allows for more sustainable and scalable AI and Web3 applications.

Minimizing AI's environmental impact

As AI continues to advance, traditional cloud computing methods may not be able to keep up with its energy demands, both in terms of sustainability and feasibility. By efficiently using computing resources, distributed cloud computing and blockchain-powered aggregation have the potential to reduce AI's environmental impact. This approach also increases security by eliminating single points of failure that can cause network-wide shutdowns in centralized data infrastructures.

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