Environmental impact of digital technologies and Artificial Intelligence

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan congresC3: Congres - Meeting abstractpeer review

Very often arguments are put forward that replacing in person meetings by online events or using digital technologies to do collaborative research will lower the pressure on the environment. But is this actually true ? The obvious impacts such as on the carbon footprint of using digital technologies are often overlooked. The electricity used to run and cool the ever growing number of large data centers is here regularly cited as the largest contributor to this impact. Recent studies however tend to show that other actors (mostly the users) in the domain of digital technologies tend to have an even greater impact. Additionally, ethical considerations and habitat degradation issues to mine for the components to build professional and personal digital devices contribute to the problems. The deployments of networks have also an non-negligible share.

The tremendous increase of generated data, information exchanges, algorithms to run digital applications due to the larger use of AI in all scientific fields, in all sectors of the policy making, industry and civil society will increase the environmental impact of digital technologies even more. However depending on the purpose of the AI technology, if its usage can demonstrate a reduction of negative environmental impacts, mitigation solutions can be envisaged. For example, if AI allows better land planning or better identification of species it could balance out the environmental impact.

This presentation will show recent analyses conducted among others by the association for Sustainable IT to demystify common assumptions on major responsibilities in terms of environmental impact or carbon footprints of digital technologies. Tips and tricks to lower overall our digital impact will be provided as well as encouraging the actors in Biodiversity Information to sign the Sustainable IT charter or even act further to get the highest Sustainable IT label for their institutions.

Originele taal-2Engels
Status!!Accepted/In press - 15-mei-2024
EventSPNHC TDWG 2024: "Enhancing Local Capacity, Elevating Global Standards. - Okinawa Convention Center, Okinawa, Japan
Duur: 2-sep.-20246-sep.-2024


CongresSPNHC TDWG 2024
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