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Towards Energy-Efficient Large-Scale Artificial Intelligence for Sustainable Data Centers

Dusan Dokic; Hannah Stein; Sabine Janzen; Wolfgang Maaß
In: INFORMATIK 2023. Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Informatik (INFORMATIK-2023), 11. Workshop Umweltinformatik zwischen Nachhaltigkeit und Wandel, located at Lecture Notes in Informatics (LNI), September 26-29, Berlin, Germany, Gesellschaft für Informatik, Bonn 2023, Bonn, 2023.


The growing interest in AI services has led to a higher demand for computing power to train and execute complex AI models, causing a surge in power consumption in data centers. Together with rising costs for electricity, gas, petroleum, and coal, and the national target for climate neutrality of data centers by 2027, the ability to operate data centers economically is threatened in Germany. To address these issues, a pressing need to improve the sustainability of data centers and that of artificial intelligence. This paper proposes a roadmap to develop sustainable and resource-efficient data centers and AI systems. The roadmap includes four key building blocks: sustainable data centers, AI algorithms, AI sustainability framework, and economic efficiency analysis. Each building block poses pivotal research questions grounded in contemporary literature to guide the pursuit of environmental sustainability in data centers and AI.