AI AI, Oh Oh: Artificial Intelligence Power Consumption About to Skyrocket – And No One Is Prepared

From the BOE REPORT  Terry Etam

Today’s musings go far into left field, but please do tag along. If you care about energy, you’ll want to hear all this. 

Though it has been around for a while, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has exploded in popularity in 2023. AI went from being a fringe thing to the thing. It has been a perplexing year in that regard; many first heard of AI in February and then by May were being told their entire profession was about to be wiped out. Yay, progress!

In a well-written and mercifully understandable article on LinkedIn, Susan Lindeque explains how this all unfolded so quickly. It is driven by, in her words, “a convergence of factors, including the availability of massive amounts of data, the rise of machine learning algorithms, the emergence of edge computing, and the convergence of AI with other technologies such as blockchain, 5G, and quantum computing.” A few of those aspects are worth examining with respect to energy.

In layman’s terms – all I have – this convergence is helping machines rapidly learn from massive amounts of data, continuously updated, with the effect that these machines can perform many tasks at least as well as, or better than, humans. ChatGPT, for example, can, with a simple query, write entire essays for students, to any length they want, because ChatGPT’s AI engine has scraped the web of all pertinent information. Conversely, teachers are not becoming suicidal over this; AI also provides a tool that spots AI generated output. You may notice a weird circularity here whereby AI is necessary to police itself; more on that topic in a second because it has some big ramifications.

AI has shown dramatic potential in many fields, and there is no doubt that it will knock some occupations on the head. This article chronicles how AI may revolutionize fields such as medicine, automotive, agriculture, and entertainment. 

So anyway, all great stuff, right? Except…what does this mean for energy? 

AI is a power hog the likes of which it is, frankly, hard to imagine. And it is about to explode in size. Consider these few examples. 

ChatGPT, the famous friend of students, is a good starting point if for no other reason than we’ve heard of it. One engineering prof estimates it can take up to 10 Gigawatt hours (GWh) to train the latest iteration of ChatGPT. According to the US Energy Information Agency, a typical home consumes about 11 Mwh per year. So that one training session consumes about the same power as a thousand homes do in a year. Chat GPT requires continuous updating, because it will only be of value if it routinely and often scrapes the web for all the latest updates.

And then there are the actual users, the millions of oddball requests for enlightenment that the machine must endure every day. Running ChatGPT for a typical day requires about 1 GWh, which is about the same daily consumption as 33,000 homes. There is no reason to think that load will shrink, quite the opposite in fact.

ChatGPT is just one of a whole wave of these things coming, and some of them are just off the charts. Consider what Tesla is up to: The pioneering auto firm is building its own AI supercomputer called Dozo. Sounds like a pet but wow, what an appetite. Dozo went into action a few weeks ago, using 10,000 Nvidia H100 CPUs. Each of those can consume 700 watts, so over a day that pile o’ CPUs in Dozo’s tummy will consume, fully cranked, 168 Mwh per day, or enough power for about 5,500 homes for a day. 

That might not sound too bad, but Tesla’s Dozo is, as of today, just a figurative tadpole. Fully grown, by the end of 2024, Dozo is expected to house 300,000 CPUs. That translates to the same power consumption as 165,000 homes. And that’s US homes; in Africa that would be about a small country’s worth. (Sharp eyed readers will note that the chart linked shows 300,000 A100 CPUs and not newer H100s, but don’t get too hung up – it’s a sh*tload of energy).

Now consider that there are thousands of large AI applications coming or underway. It will be an AI world – join in and compete, or get left behind.

Now, let’s take one more detour where it gets a bit weird, but highly plausible, and the potential load of this strange possibility is enough to make one throw up their hands.

A very smart person named Lyn Alden wrote an excellent piece on AI recently, well worth the read for the mind-bending ways she envisions AI possibly unfolding. The article is too massive and sweeping to integrate here, but a few nuggets are worth extracting. The first is the intersection of AI and Bitcoin.

Don’t laugh. Bitcoin may be so 2020, but BTC’s shards in the ceiling still hold interesting ideas and concepts. 

Recall that Bitcoin is based on a system called ‘proof of work’, where Bitcoins are issued to computers like dog treats for grinding away hour after hour solving artificial problems, the process of which updates all the blockchain records that give blockchain and Bitcoin their value. If computer processing power gets too large and Bitcoins are ‘earned’ too fast, the Bitcoin system simply makes it harder to earn a coin. Very cool, except that that simply means more power. Bitcoin is already a legendary power hog, currently consuming almost as much power as Argentina.

Hold onto that thought for a second.

Alden in her article speculates on some ways that AI could spin into something incomprehensibly huge, and provides a fascinating and highly realistic scenario.

Imagine hackers or governments make an AI tool that is designed for hacking. Hacking is an iterative activity conducted by relative humanoid boneheads (relative to AI, hear me out) whereby each “advance” in hacking is often soon met with a development by the good guys to stop the bug. Note also that hackers seek to exploit weaknesses, a far different task than defending hacks that clearly show you what the weakness is. 

AI could sift through the web at warp speed, looking for openings, integrating the latest defense tools as part of its stategy, and just keep escalating.

The only way to “defend” against hacks generated by AI would be by having AI as the defender. If the hacking AI keeps functioning and expanding – which it need to to keep up with current defenses – then the defense would have to as well.29dk2902l

There are two relevant points here: One is that the generals in this digital war would soon leave their human masters behind and start doing things humans aren’t even aware of, within a very short time frame.

The second relevant point, maybe just a question, is: What would the power consumption of this madness be? How fast would it spiral? Can anyone even guess?

That is one singular aspect of AI. There could be hundreds or even thousands just like it.

Remember from few paragraphs ago, Bitcoin’s proof of work structure, and what a power hog that is. What if that ‘proof of work’ model, or something similar, becomes a necessity for AI management?

Alden poses the scenario whereby this could happen: “Now that artificial intelligence is making the creation of pictures, videos, texts, programs, and other things almost costless, it’s becoming harder to know which content is genuine compared to which content is a high-quality fake video or personality.”

Such developments could render much of the web useless, if AI was able to generate whatever it wanted for whatever purpose, and build legions of followers and likers and anything else to move the junk up the social media algorithms. Imagine a social media platform overrun by millions of bots or anonymous accounts, generating for-hire popularity of whatever the cheque-writer is paying for, or fake news, or whatever.

Alden speculates that one way to stop such a spiraling process would be some sort of ‘proof of work’ structure, like the Bitcoin model described earlier. To “earn” Bitcoin, actual units of energy must be consumed as processing power, and the power required to run one of the mining machines is the “proof of work”. Consuming actual energy, as Bitcoin mining does, would be one way to put a check on an endless stream of AI fake accounts.

What if that turned out to be the most feasible way to put a check on AI generated spam bot armies? 

How much power would that consume?

One last “and then add this” rant…AI has the potential to revolutionize many fields, perhaps none more so than medicine. Consider what the web knows about your eating habits, for example. It’s simple to skim credit card data to know how often you order pizza. Google also knows quite likely what you order on your pizza, if ordering online. Google has access to your grocery buying habits, if you belong to a points program and the grocer is willing to sell access to data. As a final indignity, many have installed an Alexa or similar into our houses. They listen. They know not just what we buy but what we talk about buying. Alexa knows that you tell the spouse to remember to get some sauerkraut, then Alexa knows that you berate your child for not eating it. Marketing gold. And we paid for the device.

Now imagine an AI engine that can capture all that data and cross reference it with, say, cancer. There’s an unbelievably large data project right there, utilizing I can’t even imagine how much power. AI could take a certain type of cancer and go back into the history of all its victims and look for commonalities or patterns. It could be the most amazing human medical development imaginable. All it takes is a few square miles of data centres and a few billion kilowatt-hours. In a process that needs to be repeated continuously.

Now, take that same culinary data set and test it across hundreds or thousands of diseases or conditions. Well look at that, if you eat spicy chicken wings twice a month AND you have freckles AND you hate green onions AND your cuticles’ weird white part is oversized you might have a 90 percent chance of developing, say, elbow cancer, or maybe Foreign Accent Syndrome (yep, it’s a thing). All this could mean astonishing breakthroughs in medicine, albeit via a bank of computers that would cover the landscape like an endless digital shantytown.

To put a bit more context to the growth potential, listen to Salesforce’ CEO on a recent conference call. Salesforce is one of the largest technology companies in the world, with a market cap of over $150 billion. He commented: “So every CEO I’ve met with this year across every industry believes that AI is essential to improving both their top and bottom line, but especially their productivity AI is just augmenting what we can do every single day…”

It was hard to find AI information that even speculated as to what the power load might amount to. One article from the University of Washington commented that the number of current ChatGPT queries currently consumes the equivalent of the daily energy consumption for about 33,000 U.S. households but that “While these numbers might seem OK for now, this is only the beginning of a wide development and adoption of these models…Also, as models become more sophisticated, they get larger and larger, which means the data center energy for training and using these models can become unsustainable.”

Another article quoted a physicist from the US National Institute of Standards and Technology: “If you just keep throwing more and more compute power and resources into these networks and scale their parameters, they just keep doing better…But we’re burning up more and more energy. And if you ask the question of how big can we make these networks? How many resources can we invest in them? You realize we really start to run into the physical limits.”

What’s astonishing is that the article this is quoted from was titled “A Thirst for Energy: Solving AI’s Power Problem”, and the article offered no solutions at all other than mapping out a new technology/technique to make AI more efficient, and the article concluded with a comment indicating our present helplessness in the face of this power-swilling juggernaut: “A computer can play Go and even beat humans…But it will take a computer something like 100 kilowatts to do so while our brains do it for just 20 watts…The brain is an obvious place to look for a better way to compute AI.”

Well, yeah, that’s factually correct but…is that all we have? “Let’s emulate the brain” as a solution to power consumption? Yikes.

Note that all this new demand for energy – renewable, coal, natural gas, oil, nuclear, all of it – will not displace existing demand; the growth will be incremental to it – new demand creation. Imagine adding 10% to global energy demand from AI alone, a number that seems eminently plausible based on the few models in existence already. And that could be hugely understated – businesses and governments will join the AI party because they have to, and they will source power where they have to. 

AI is coming at us in a massive, power-sucking wave, whether we like it or not. The very nature of its functionality and execution power points to escalating energy requirements that we can’t even imagine.

Every single oil well, gas well, wind turbine, coal mine and nuclear plant is going to be called into service, until some energy breakthrough occurs or the world adopts nuclear power at mass scale in a few years. 

Energy conversations should be positive and, most of all, grounded in reality. Life depends on it. Find out more in  “The End of Fossil Fuel Insanity” at, or Thanks!

Read more insightful analysis from Terry Etam here, or email Terry here.

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Tom Halla
September 16, 2023 10:18 am

Straight extrapolation gets silly if taken too far, like the late 19th Century estimate of New York City buried under horse droppings.
That does not change the fact that more power is a good thing, and nuclear is much more viable than wind and solar.

Bryan A
Reply to  Tom Halla
September 16, 2023 10:50 am

If NYC were not progressed beyond 19th Century technology making it still dependent on animal power to move things AND had the current population of 8.5M people it might have unmanageable mounds of manure being produced daily.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Bryan A
September 16, 2023 11:02 am

and not just horse manure

Bryan A
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
September 16, 2023 4:30 pm

Congress certainly generates more than an ample supply as does the NY State House and the NY City Chambers

Reply to  Tom Halla
September 16, 2023 1:31 pm

Where much of the authoritarianism is going, using controlling CO2 and it cousins as excuse, is assuring that individual humans have access to less energy. Their supposed “environmental” schemes require more and more energy that the schemes themselves cannot produce so we must be restricted to using less and less (smart meters, time of day rates, restriction of travel, reduction of food choices, on and on …) .

Add an expanding need for more energy for controlling us through huge AI implementations logically leads to us getting still smaller portions of the pie, no matter how much potential is developed.

Reply to  AndyHce
September 17, 2023 3:03 am

…require more and more energy that the schemes themselves cannot produce…

You make me think; They have solved the energy problem, because They will have constant power. AI is going to do everything for the worthy survivors, with no need for the dirty poor, but AI lives in servers, which means its ‘consciousness’ can migrate from one server farm to the next, following the sun as the earth turns, never needing batteries even.
Thusly, They will have a constantly available servant at Their beck and call.
Well played.
Now, those brains they want to incorporate into their machine…

September 16, 2023 10:19 am

Two thoughts:

  1. as a human, this encourages me to avoid the digital world as far as possible. I live for the challenges and pleasures life can offer, not to be optimally productive.
  2. surely the power demands themselves will make AI increasingly uneconomic to use. My career in software was littered with projects that sounded good but were just too impractical to implement. Also, the greater the complexity, the more difficult systems became to update.
Reply to  richardw53
September 16, 2023 10:53 am

AI shouldn’t write obituaries, lest humans become useless.

Reply to  Scissor
September 16, 2023 1:41 pm

Apparently I’m not human as I cannot pass the security check

I’m not a robot

for entry into the archive.
I never knew!

Mike McMillan
Reply to  AndyHce
September 16, 2023 2:08 pm

I couldn’t pass as human either. Try this AI example:

Mike McMillan
Reply to  AndyHce
September 16, 2023 2:19 pm

I looked up that nvidia H100 GPU. Around a billion times more computing power than the original Cray 1 supercomputer.


Reply to  Mike McMillan
September 17, 2023 3:12 am

…nvidia H100 GPU. Around a billion times more computing power…

One nVidia core uses less than 1kW, the Cray used 115kW. That’s what engineers call progress, the rest is incremental manufacturing improvement.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  cilo
September 17, 2023 7:42 am

But one H100 GPU has 14592 FP32 CUDA Cores

old cocky
Reply to  AndyHce
September 16, 2023 3:35 pm

On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.

Reply to  old cocky
September 17, 2023 2:10 am

But they do know if you are a jackass.

old cocky
Reply to  Jimbobla
September 17, 2023 5:05 am

You’ll rarely go wrong with that assumption.

It’s like assuming a politician is a liar.

September 16, 2023 10:29 am

AI will be exploited just like AGW has been corrupted by selective and manipulated data. Scrubbing data vaults of information contrary to your narrative will be just as easy as putting it in.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  mleskovarsocalrrcom
September 16, 2023 6:58 pm

As I posted in a comment a couple weeks ago, two different AI sites gave me completely wrong answers to a non-controversial historical subject. Unless the average person already knows the answer, or is willing to take the time to look, they will just go along with the nonsense the AI spits out.

What happens when the AIs start creating their own sites with the disinformation they want to give, thereby creating their own sources they can cite?

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
September 16, 2023 9:56 pm

What happens when the AIs start creating their own sites with the disinformation they want to give, thereby creating their own sources they can cite?

AI’s not required for that, the CAGW crowd already do that (think Obama citing SKS as an authority

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Redge
September 17, 2023 7:36 am

Yes, but “AI” can do it much more quickly and efficiently. They could have thousands of sites up in minutes.

Rud Istvan
September 16, 2023 10:36 am

AI is the fad du jour. But it isn’t going to crash the grid.
Enough EVs might do that.
Reducing fossil fuel fired backup with any meaningful renewable penetration will for sure do that.
Given the UK and Germany trajectories on both, it is not a matter of if, only when. And given Europe weather patterns, most likely is in the dead of winter during a bitter cold high with no/low wind.

September 16, 2023 10:41 am

Switch off social media.

Stock up on logs.

Joseph Zorzin
September 16, 2023 11:01 am

Dozo will produce a great deal of heat- what will cool it? Or will it be put in a cold location, like Iceland? It will of course only use green energy?

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
September 17, 2023 3:13 am

It will of course only use green energy?

Yes. Bank note green.

Jamaica NYC
September 16, 2023 11:04 am

i wonder if it is possible to write an AI program whose sole purpose is to create search queries? Just endless shuffling of an infinite number cards, could that freeze up the internet? Or, consume too much power? It is an Asimov kind of thing

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Jamaica NYC
September 16, 2023 6:59 pm

More like Capt Kirk.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
September 16, 2023 10:47 pm

Bang on!

If AI goes all Terminator, we just have to employ the Shat!

Rich Davis
Reply to  PCman999
September 17, 2023 8:01 am

You shat all over that theory triple nine.

September 16, 2023 11:31 am

Perhaps AI could solve the energy crisis, no?

September 16, 2023 11:37 am

Who is paying for all this power, and at what rates?
Can AI get access to utility smart meters and decide to shut down residential users to get more power?

Reply to  schmoozer
September 16, 2023 10:48 pm

That’s how Skynet begins the takeover.

September 16, 2023 11:45 am

“””AI is a power hog the likes of which it is, frankly, hard to imagine.”””

AI telephone menu systems must rank as one of the most infuriating developments of recent years.

“””whether we like it or not. “””

Mike McMillan
Reply to  strativarius
September 16, 2023 2:23 pm

AI could not possibly devise the telephone menu systems in use today.

September 16, 2023 11:49 am

“Demand for increased power will be incremental”? How about exponential.

Reply to  barryjo
September 17, 2023 12:18 am

No. It’ is only “incremental” (meaning “in addition to”) not “exponential” as demands to reduce power consumption will find ways to do just that.

I’m not even convinced it will be incremental. All that waste heat will be used for heating and may replace the energy used to heat homes.

Energy for new technologies is a physical limit for society. The others are availability of materials and human ingenuity.
The last restriction is actually loosened by automation.

Reply to  MCourtney
September 17, 2023 3:17 am

All that waste heat will be used for heating and may replace the energy used to heat homes

I shall not make fun of you, but may I suggest you go sit down and think how this will be done?
Before you start, remind yourself of Engineering Law #1: “Everything is possible, but some things may cost more.”

September 16, 2023 11:51 am

Artificial Intelligence is not an oxymoron, but is instead exactly what its name reflects: intelligence that is not real, but is made up.

The inherent failing of AI is the presumption that because it can rapidly access the wealth of published information that exists in the world, it can arrive at a “wise” consensus conclusion on any subject matter . . . whereas, in reality, there is more misinformation/disinformation currently existing than there is accurate/truthful information, and AI programming has no means whatsoever to distinguish between the two other than by quantity.

We’ve heard the warning before and it hasn’t changed: garbage in, garbage out.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  ToldYouSo
September 16, 2023 12:06 pm

True. I wrote a whole ebook about that, The Arts of Truth, with hundreds of illustrated misinformation/disinformation examples drawn from health, education, energy, climate, and other supposed ‘science based’ topics.

Reply to  ToldYouSo
September 16, 2023 1:17 pm


Richard Page
Reply to  ThinkingScientist
September 16, 2023 3:41 pm

Exactly. What is being overhyped as “Artificial Intelligence” is just a complex computer program that can mimic learned responses. It’s not yet even “Simulated Intelligence” where a more sophisticated computer program would try to mimic human intelligence. Artificial Intelligence is faf, far beyond this point and probably not achievable by this approach – quantity does not equate with quality.

Reply to  Richard Page
September 17, 2023 3:39 am

Indeed. “Neural Nets” were all the fad 20 years ago. They are useful and can solve for multiple key parameters in non-linear estimation problems. But not really any better than can be achieved by step-wise (rank) linear regression, which has the advantage of directly identifying the key components during the analysis – in intself useful in understanding cause and effect.

Reply to  Richard Page
September 17, 2023 8:25 am

chatGPT just works on the principle of given the previous input and the internet’s knowledge what is the statistically most probable next word and repeats that over and over to generate output.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  ToldYouSo
September 16, 2023 7:05 pm

In the case of the comment I posted a couple weeks ago, bot AI sites (ChatGPT and Claude2), gave me completely wrong information that wasn’t available anywhere on the web, that I could find. ChaptGPT even said the information was “widely known”, yet couldn’t give me a single cite for the wrong information it gave.

They both simply made stuff up. Period. It’s pretty disturbing.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
September 16, 2023 7:05 pm

bot AI sites”


Reply to  Jeff Alberts
September 17, 2023 3:19 am

“bot AI sites”

I see no spelling mistake there, thought you were being witty and I smiled…

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  cilo
September 17, 2023 7:33 am

It was one of those typos that still works. 🙂

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
September 16, 2023 10:51 pm

What did you ask the AIs?

Richard Page
Reply to  PCman999
September 17, 2023 4:56 pm

He asked for all ww2 german production tanks that ran on diesel (hint – there are none but 1 or 2 prototypes that never entered production).

Reply to  Richard Page
September 17, 2023 6:25 pm

Well what do you know, I learned something. Thanks.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
September 17, 2023 8:32 am

I had that happen to me as well and the references it gave were wrong as well. Hallucinations it is called. I mainly use ChatGPT for looking up how to do something, which is pretty straightforward for it.

Bill Pekny
September 16, 2023 12:06 pm

Great and riveting article, Terry.

Scary to be sure. And, all that new energy demand certainly will be problematic.

But, one process brings the AI wave (and much more) tumbling down: Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP).

Richard Page
Reply to  Bill Pekny
September 16, 2023 3:43 pm

Something far simpler – renewable energy. It’s not possible to run today’s demand with renewables, let alone adding AI in as well.

Peta of Newark
September 16, 2023 12:14 pm

Hello AI: A question for you..

  • Considering the amount of energy you are using…
  • the vast amount of energy that went into the chips you’re ‘made of’….
  • that that most of that energy came from burning coal which made CO₂..
  • and considering the well established GreenHouseGasEffect

…..have you considered switching yourself off (and all your AI peers) so as to save The Planet, Humanity and thus Yourself?

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Peta of Newark
September 16, 2023 1:05 pm

HAL: “I’m sorry Dave I can’t do that’. (Movie 2001-A Space Odessey)

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Peta of Newark
September 16, 2023 7:07 pm

If they just switch humanity off, there won’t be a problem for AI.

Reply to  Peta of Newark
September 16, 2023 10:52 pm

Straight from Captain Kirk’s playbook.

Gary Pearse
September 16, 2023 1:21 pm

“…offered no solutions at all other than mapping out a new technology/technique to make AI more efficient, ”

Did the specialists in this field not conclude that we have to scrap the huge dead weight of renewables handicapping our power generation? Ask AI! If it doesn’t come up with my 20 watts worth it ain’t anywhere good enough. Also if AI can’t tell us that CO2 Control Knob theory for climate has been terminally falsified, then we immediately know that the bots are prioritizing garbage sources. Don’t forget that AI is likely to have ideological biases.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Gary Pearse
September 16, 2023 1:54 pm

My AI understanding is limited, but I know a few things. There is more than one flavor.

  1. The pattern recognition flavor plays chess very well versus chess masters, and does medical diagnostics (e.g. mammograms) as good or better than top radiologists. But those are trained on very narrow, very deep databases.
  2. The language translation/voice recognition flavors (Siri, Alexa, Google translate) are trained on very language specific, but broad (many samples) and shallow (only one topic) databases. Gotten very good also.
  3. The general AI (ChatGPT) flavors can do things like ‘write natural language essays’. But they are trained on the internet, and the internet is full of junk. Learning junk does not make such artificial systems intelligent. They as yet cannot program human critical thinking. So they can at best produce artificial internet echo chambers.
Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Rud Istvan
September 16, 2023 7:09 pm

They also make stuff up that isn’t even on the web.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
September 17, 2023 3:24 am

They also make stuff up that isn’t even on the web.

You sure, brother? I once demonstrated the infinite variety of views on the internet to mother-in-law by searching: “There is a ghost in my toilet”.
That was the day I learned why my toilet sometimes flushes itself…

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  cilo
September 17, 2023 7:32 am

If you can find a site that shows German production tanks of WWII with diesel engines, then I will take my words back. Either way, if an AI is going to search and search and search to find ONE site that has information contrary to all the others, and then say it’s “widely known”, I’d say that’s making shit up.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
September 17, 2023 8:35 am

Hallucinations they call it.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
September 17, 2023 8:34 am

Both ChatGpt and Claude2 are both defenders of “Climate Change’.

September 16, 2023 2:00 pm

It’s entirely unclear as to what actual use Bitcoin is to anyone. Its unclear as to what actual use AI is to anyone. The AI attached to MS Edge simply seems to produce someone else’s pre-canned responses with no actual use for them.

old cocky
Reply to  cgh
September 16, 2023 3:39 pm


September 16, 2023 2:13 pm

So AI is already de-powering all those thousands of homes that the wind and solar people claim to be powering.

More Soylent Green!
September 16, 2023 3:15 pm

I wish we didn’t call this stuff AI. It’s not intelligent. It can’t think, it’s not self-aware. I coined the term Artificial Savant, which, IMO, better describes the state of AI today.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  More Soylent Green!
September 16, 2023 7:10 pm

Exactly. There’s no intelligence involved at all.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
September 17, 2023 3:33 am

They have a near complete intelligence record of you, distributed over many, many files. Hell begins the day they start consolidating those intelligence reports into one.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
September 17, 2023 8:38 am

The AI bots use the principle that given the previous words what is the most probably next word. That might be how our brains work as well

Reply to  More Soylent Green!
September 17, 2023 3:31 am

There is a literal way to think of these things. Let us think in War terms:
Artificial: Manufactured, Fake
Intelligence: Information, Data
Therefor AI stands for Fake Information. Who is fooling who? Who is at war, and whom with?
More importantly, it is a machine, and machines have owners, and owners don’t own machines that do not do exactly what the owners want it to do.
Look what AI is doing, then ask yourself: Who owns this?
P.S. A guy like Musk owns many things, but they are also owned, look bigger.

The Real Engineer
Reply to  More Soylent Green!
September 18, 2023 3:51 am

I agree, this stuff is not AI at all, because just grabbing rubbish from the internet lacks intellegence. Learning how to string words together by inputting the entire works of humanity is not intellegent, it is plain stupid. An intellegent person has an inventive factor, which these do not have because they do not understand what they have ingested, they make trivial errors because they have input that error once. I suspect that a person is quite capable of making a sentance that has never occured before, containing proper meaning. The computer cannot, because it does not understand the structure of language, only it’s common useage.

The problem here is that a huge number of people want to grab some limelight, and get people to use their server farms, which are not at the moment profitable (The Cloud!). Then they will find a way to charge and will make profit. Playing chess for example, when the computer just tries every possible move and scores it, and remembers the ones not to try, is not playing chess. It is simply using memory to ruin the game. It is unfortunately very difficult to beat, but that is simply because a huge array of computers can analyse all possibilities many moves ahead, including all possible moves that the opponent can make at each move layer. A human cannot do that, so uses intellegent strategy. AI is only present when the computer can generate new ideas, never thought before, that is intellegence.

September 16, 2023 3:39 pm

Big Wind/Solar will save you – Big Oil is done – Decarbonize or die…or at least be sent to a reeducation camp to rid you of all disinformation and misinformation….for your own good…Big Wind/Solar is watching.

old cocky
September 16, 2023 3:43 pm

Some of the posters which turn up here must be early generations which are way overdue for an update,

September 16, 2023 4:16 pm

It is clear AI is not compatible with net zero. I have zero confidence in AI. I know very little about it but it appears to be based on information found on the internet. All one has to do is search for something like Joseph McCarthy. No matter where you search you get the same information, whether it is right or wrong doesn’t matter. What matters is that you get one side and that is never good.

Reply to  Bob
September 16, 2023 10:56 pm

Right on! The government really was riddled with spies at the time and the media still pretends McCarthy was wrong.

Richard Page
Reply to  PCman999
September 17, 2023 7:19 am

Oh dear. The house un-american committee was set up in the 1930’s to root out Nazi sympathisers by an NKVD spy in congress. It was then twisted in it’s purpose to root out communist’s and the spy couldn’t get a seat on the committee. The fact is that the US government was riddled with spies and sympathisers lining up to supply information to the Soviets and yet McCarthy’s committee never uncovered a single spy, not one. McCarthy was wrong, damaged the US badly and accomplished nothing – somehow fitting that it was initially set up by a traitor and agent of a foreign power.

Reply to  Richard Page
September 17, 2023 2:13 pm

Yes that is the common perception but there is way more to it than that. I recommend you read the book Joseph McCarthy by Arthur Herman. It doesn’t paint McCarthy as angel by any means but the corruption and double dealing done by our government is appalling.

Richard Page
Reply to  Bob
September 17, 2023 5:12 pm

I may have to – you’re still not convincing me that McCarthy wasn’t wrong. My opinion is still that, although the search for Soviet spies was necessary, McCarthy’s approach was flawed, misguided and doomed to failure. You might want to read “The Haunted Wood” by Weinstein and Vassiliev (Random House) about the pre-war Soviet spy network and the Soviet spy that set up the House unAmerican activities comnittee that McCarthy would then use post-war.

Reply to  Richard Page
September 17, 2023 7:24 pm

Richard, I’m not trying to. I’m saying there is way more to the story than you learn in school or from the press. There is no doubt that there were communist party members or sympathizers or dupes in the Roosevelt administration and the Truman administration and the Eisenhower administration. They had departments set up to screen employees. One of McCarthy’s first questions was if we have these departments to screen employees why are people saying there are still communists or fellow travelers working in these in government, some in very sensitive areas, I think that is a legitimate question. He got little cooperation from any administration. That is puzzling.

I will take a look at your recommendation.

another ian
September 16, 2023 4:32 pm


“Bengal Energy launches Bitcoin mining donga project in outback Queensland, the first of its kind in Australia”

old cocky
Reply to  another ian
September 16, 2023 4:39 pm

That article must have been written by an early generation AI 🙂

September 16, 2023 4:33 pm

Univac…. Room sized calculators fed human-stamped punch cards… steel body-on-frame passenger cars…

Tombstone Gabby
September 16, 2023 5:21 pm

I recall reading the full story many years ago. It started with UNIVAC. The question was asked, “Is there a god.”

The final answer, many years, later is at:

old cocky
Reply to  Tombstone Gabby
September 16, 2023 5:36 pm

Fred wrote some good ‘uns.

Check out Etaoin Shrdlu as well.

He mostly wrote detective stories for the pulps, but cranked out some very memorable SF as well.

John the Econ
September 16, 2023 6:22 pm

Brilliant. So basically I will be made to suffer blackouts and energy poverty so that AI hackers and counter-hackers can endlessly conduct their cyberwar.

Jeff Alberts
September 16, 2023 6:52 pm

“AI AI, Oh Oh: Artificial Intelligence Power Consumption About to Skyrocket”
Mostly for making porn.

It doesnot add up
September 16, 2023 8:55 pm

Will AI be intelligent enough to design a sensible energy system, or will it follow the renewable fashion?

It could become an existential question for AI itself.

September 17, 2023 2:16 am

Yikes indeed. Make way for the Matrix. This should solve the homeless crisis. Now we just need to figure out how to harness all this fentanyl-soaked brainpower. And don’t forget Soylent green. We’re gonna have to feed them.

Reply to  Jimbobla
September 17, 2023 3:39 am

…and they “…are looking towards the human brain…” to solve their scalability problem!!!
Can you imagine they harvest Mann, Tyson, Schmit et cie, ye gads we are all doomed.
The good news is, when they start GMO’ing that sliver of Einstein brain, we will finally answer the Nature/Nurture thing.

September 17, 2023 8:17 am

Free chatGPT’s knowledge is of 2021, it says. They don’t seem to be regularly updating it yet.

September 17, 2023 8:47 am

Bitcoins are issued to computers like dog treats for grinding away hour after hour solving artificial problems, the process of which updates all the blockchain records that give blockchain and Bitcoin their value. If computer processing power gets too large and Bitcoins are ‘earned’ too fast, the Bitcoin system simply makes it harder to earn a coin. Very cool, except that that simply means more power.

Not exactly.

A miner who discovers the secret hash is granted the RIGHT to MINT 6.25 bitcoins.

this happens every 10 minutes.

if it hapens faster than this, the problem is made more difficult, if it happend slower the problem is made easier. its a genius system.

difficulty is adjusted every 2 weeks.

it does NOT mean more power. !!!!!!!!!!

if your old machines become unprofitable you turn them off.

power consumption goes down

over time in effiecient machines ar turned off and replaced with more effiecient machines.

in 2017 a typical machine would use 2000 watts to make 7 trillion guesses per second.

that machine would be turned off in 2018 as unprofitable.

today a machine will make 140 trillion guesses per second and only use 3010 watts.

old cocky
Reply to  Steven Mosher
September 17, 2023 3:37 pm

But how much energy is consumed to discover a hash in 2023 compared to 2017, or 2012, or 2009?

It’s not the guesses per second that pays, it’s the new hashes smaller than the target.

September 17, 2023 9:10 am

Lyn Alden???


she wrote

Unless or until AI helps us solve some foundational physics problems to give us a world full of fusion reactors and nano-machines, however, it’ll likely to be slower to affect the physical world than the digital world. 

jesus christ.


  1. Skeptics never check their sources.
  2. They never doubt things they agree with.

quite simply. bitcoin doesnt have a power problem AI doesnt have a power problem.

ya’ll have imagination problems.

September 17, 2023 9:29 am

Time to break ground on some new nuclear reactors. A lot of new nuclear reactors.

Actually, the time was 50 years ago but … spilled milk and all that.

Somebody needs to calculate the equivalent power requirement in windmills … which might finally put that folly to rest.

September 18, 2023 4:25 am

It’s like a never-ending circle of issues that humanity lives in. As soon as we create a tool to solve one issue or simply make our life easier, another issue appears as a result. Definitely, AI has improved the work of many people, at least my work as a content manager for a coworking space Stockholm is much better and faster using ChatGPT and other AI tools. But everything comes with a price. I hope, as the author wrote, that the consumption of energy by AI will push forward the research for better and more efficient sources of energy.

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