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Greening Artificial Intelligence: Sustainability Is the challenge, and AI Can Help Itself

As the power of sensors and processing rise and their costs drop, artificial intelligence (AI) holds the potential for greening many systems, including itself, and poses challenges for energy consumption and related environmental impacts. In the March issue of The Renewable Energy World Magazine, Professor Jaafar Elmirghani, one of the 3 Co-Chairs for the IEEE Green ICT Initiative, talks about the priority of greening AI which will be useful in automating aspects of our homes, businesses, transportation, manufacturing, innumerable industry verticals, even cities. Yet, AI will evolve and scale and its impact will be significant because it affects the privacy and security of data, as well as the behavior of autonomous decision-making systems. AI’s future will depend on public policies that enable the private, secure sharing of data from networks of networks. Global standards will need to be developed to support solutions that advance ICT and AI while minimizing their carbon footprints. In an increasingly digital world, this is one of the great challenges of the 21st century. This article looks at how we may tackle the challenge.

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Jaafar M. H. Elmirghani is full Professor and Chair in Communication Networks and Systems, and the Director of the Institute of Integrated Information Systems within the School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Leeds, UK. He has co-authored Photonic switching Technology: Systems and Networks, (Wiley) and has published over 450 papers. He has research interests in communication systems and networks. Prof. Elmirghani is Fellow of the IET, Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institute of Physics. He was Chairman of IEEE Comsoc Transmission Access and Optical Systems technical committee and was Chairman of IEEE Comsoc Signal Processing and Communications Electronics technical committee, and an editor of IEEE Communications Magazine.