Friday, August 4, 2023

Australia an Exporter of Renewable Energy Embedded in AI Models?

The energy use of AI was discussed by Schwartz, Dodge, Smith, and Etzioni (2020). The authors noted that Amazon AWS was 50% powered by renewable energy. Perhaps Australia could become an exporter of renewable energy embedded in Green AI models.

In 2017 my colleagues at ANU initiated a project to cover large areas of northern Australia with solar panels, and export the energy. The university invested $10m in research, and some of it is now being commercialized.

Options investigated included a cable to Singapore, & synthetic fuel in tankers. But an alternative was "Green Steel". The energy would be used to refine iron ore in Australia. The embedded energy would, in effect, be exported in the steel. The steel is much easier to ship than electrons, hydrogen, or ammonia. The same thing might be done with AI.

The world would send AI requests to Australia. These would be forwarded
to data-centers located at high capacity grid connections to solar and wind farms. AI models would be trained using the renewable energy, making an "AI battery", with the embedded energy stored in the models.

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