Sunday, September 10, 2023

"Just Five ChatGPT Queries Can Use 16oz of Water, Say Researchers" (MSFT)

 From Tom's Hardware, September 10:

Researchers have been probing water consumption figures associated with Microsoft's data center in Iowa.

Researchers from the University of California reckon the growth in popularity of AI might not be without a significant environmental impact. The Associated Press (AP) reported on a preliminary study from the University, which indicates as few as five ChatGPT queries can result in gulping up 500 milliliters of water (roughly a 16-ounce bottle) at Microsoft's Iowa data center. The study also includes indirect water use from other sources associated with the data center, like the power plant that feeds its energy. 

Previously, we have looked with concern at the electricity consumption of hyperscalers like Google, Microsoft, and AWS. We also saw cryptocurrency mining operations push computing energy consumption figures to new highs a few years ago. Water is arguably a more precious resource, but California researchers have had to put unexpected efforts into digging up water consumption figures, with AP characterizing server companies as "secretive" regarding specifics.

The goal of the UC researchers was to uncover the environmental impact of AI processing, spurred by the success of products like ChatGPT. This is based on the knowledge that Microsoft's Iowa data centers are a major driver behind a great deal of the recent AI processing expansion.

One of Microsoft's most powerful computers known to be dedicated to OpenAI is situated in Iowa. The system, which was first unveiled in 2020, is powered by more than 285,000 AMD InfiniBand CPU cores and 10,000 GPUs. It is dedicated to GPT-4, OpenAI's fourth-generation model....