The Morning After: Google’s greenhouse gas emissions climbed nearly 50 percent in five years due to AI

Its data centers used to power AI are making the company’s path to carbon neutrality a bumpy one.


Google’s greenhouse gas emissions spiked by nearly 50 percent in the last five years, due to data centers required to power artificial intelligence, according to the company’s 2024 Environmental Report. The report shows the company’s progress towards meeting its self-proclaimed objective of becoming carbon neutral by 2030 – despite this additional challenge.

Using AI features (let alone training the models) uses a lot of energy. In 2023, researchers at AI startup Hugging Face and Carnegie Mellon University found that generating a single image using artificial intelligence can use as much energy as charging a smartphone.

Google has a lot of AI projects on the go. Alongside the likes of Gemini, generative AI tools, it's using the technology to add over 100 languages to its translation services. And there's also the rumored AI chatbots.

According to the report, Google said it expects its total greenhouse gas emissions to rise “before dropping toward our absolute emissions reduction target,” without explaining what would cause this drop.

– Mat Smith

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TMA (Canvue)

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The latest title to join the Netflix Games roster is a modern remake of Minesweeper, ancient timekiller on ‘90s Windows PCs. The classic PC puzzle game has been reimagined with an international setting, tasking the player with very literally looking for underwater mines

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