Towards Sustainable Artificial Intelligence: An Overview of Environmental Protection Uses and Issues

by   Arnault Pachot, et al.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is used to create more sustainable production methods and model climate change, making it a valuable tool in the fight against environmental degradation. This paper describes the paradox of an energy-consuming technology serving the ecological challenges of tomorrow. The study provides an overview of the sectors that use AI-based solutions for environmental protection. It draws on numerous examples from AI for Green players to present use cases and concrete examples. In the second part of the study, the negative impacts of AI on the environment and the emerging technological solutions to support Green AI are examined. It is also shown that the research on less energy-consuming AI is motivated more by cost and energy autonomy constraints than by environmental considerations. This leads to a rebound effect that favors an increase in the complexity of models. Finally, the need to integrate environmental indicators into algorithms is discussed. The environmental dimension is part of the broader ethical problem of AI, and addressing it is crucial for ensuring the sustainability of AI in the long term.


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