E-SWAN Sustainability Seminar: The energy challenges of digital technology and artificial intelligence


Starting in September 2023, E-SWAN will organize regular webinars on topics related to the sustainability of our activities and practices.

The energy challenges of digital technology and artificial intelligence: how to reconcile technological progress and ecological transition.

Webinar by David Hill (ISIMA/LIMOS, Université Clermont-Auvergne, France)

Thursday, 21th September 2023, 15h CEST

Please click this link to join the webinar (Passcode: 231584).

Abstract Digital technology and computers have a substantial impact on global energy consumption both directly and indirectly. The energy requirements of devices, data centers, data transmission, and related infrastructure are increasing each year. As digital technology continues to advance and become more integrated into our lives, addressing its energy footprint remains a critical challenge. Among all digital technologies, artificial intelligence (AI) has a significant impact on energy consumption, primarily due to the computational intensity of training AI models and data processing. On the other hand, AI can also help reduce energy consumption and emissions by optimizing the energy systems and enabling the transition to low-carbon sources. But this could also provoke a rebound effect as observed with other digital technologies. Reducing AI's energy footprint involves a combination of efficient model design, hardware improvements, data management, and policy measures to promote sustainable AI development and deployment. These efforts are crucial to harness the benefits of AI while mitigating its environmental impact.

David Hill is professor at the French Centre for National Research (CNRS UMR 6158) in the LIMOS laboratory. He is currently head of a graduate track at Clermont-Auvergne INP.  Prof. Hill was Vice President of Blaise Pascal University (2008-2012) and past director of a French Regional Computing Center (CRRI mesocenter). He was appointed two times deputy director (2005-2007 ; 2018-2021) of the Auvergne Institute of Computer Science ISIMA, a French “Grande Ecole d’Ingénieur”. He received his French qualification as Research Director in 2000 and the doctor degree in 1993 (in Object-Oriented Software Engineering and Simulation) all from Blaise Pascal University. Professor Hill has supervised and co-supervised 30 PhD students, authored or co-authored 270+ papers and he has also published several textbooks. He recently supervised research at CERN (2019-2022) and focused on sustainable digital technology including Artificial Intelligence (guest conference with EDF - French Electricity and other stakeholders). He has contributed to publications dealing with climate change for INRAE (French Research in Agronomy) with colleagues taking part in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) who was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Price in 2007.

Upcoming Confirmed Webinars

October 12, 2023, 13:00 CEST -  Going beyond the “old normal” for a sustainable future in science with Vanessa Moss (CSIRO Space & Astronomy, Australia)



Thursday, September 21, 2023 - 15:00 to 16:30

Travel Info





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