The setting of guardrails for AI will be discussed when G7 leaders meet for a key summit in Italy from Thursday (Jun 13) to Saturday. Other topics on the agenda include boosting support for Ukraine and rerouting key supply chains away from China. 

Climate activists said the environmental impact of AI also merits attention. 

This comes as training and running AI systems requires a significant amount of energy. Because of this, growing demands could end up translating into more greenhouse gas emissions.

Data centres, which are effectively warehouses with lines of servers that help to power AI and the internet in general, account for about 1 per cent to up to 5 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to different reports. 

Observers said the true impact of these facilities, which also use vast amounts of water for cooling, and create noise pollution, is hard to gauge.

CNA visited one such data centre operated by Italian cloud computer provider Seeweb, where servers power cloud computing and AI services. The temperature at the facility is carefully controlled so the servers do not overheat.

Mr Roberto Nardone, director of Seeweb, said while the company is expanding fast, it is also trying to become greener.

“In Italy, it’s well-known that we are behind in terms of broadband internet transport infrastructure,” he said. 

“This is slowing down the expansion of data centre development a bit.”

Mr Nardone noted that there is a big demand for quality in the market. 

“We’re focusing mainly on energy efficiency and lower environmental impact,” he added. 


Leave A Reply

© 2024 The News Singapore. All Rights Reserved.