Wednesday July 26, 2023

The Mercury News

There’s hope for even the most ardent of climate change observers in the notion that if human innovation and technology got us into this mess, they can get us out of it. And few potential tools on the table are triggering quite the same blend of optimism and concern, promise and confusion, as artificial intelligence.

AI, which involves sophisticated computer systems that can mimic some aspects of human cognition, has vast potential to help humans combat climate change and be better prepared to deal with its effects. Experts are working on ways to use machine learning to help us use resources more efficiently, for example, and to more accurately predict increasingly common extreme weather events.

But before AI can be put to use in those ways, technology companies need to put the programs through intense training sessions and build or expand warehouse-scale data centers to support these systems. It takes lots of water and energy to keep densely packed computer servers for these systems cool and running smoothly.

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