Welcome Mr. Microsoft | Opinion

On our continent there is a strong expansion of the so-called hyperscalers (Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud). Consequently, the network of submarine fiber optic cables is also growing, with plans to lay half a million new kilometers of cable by 2025. Chips and CPUs designed for artificial intelligence consume three times more power than the previous generation, with a higher power density per unit of power. rack computing power and greater demand for cold. It is estimated that this decade we will devote 8% of the world’s energy to maintaining clouds. Some say you’ll run out of fuel before you’re done.

“We don’t know how much energy this technology requires,” Sam Altman, president of OpenAI, said at the latest conference in Davos. While this is true, it’s not because we don’t want to, don’t ask, or it’s extremely difficult to calculate how much it costs to install these features, especially when the models are already in use. This is because they don’t want to tell us and no one is forcing them.

Microsoft is going to spend $2.1 billion on data centers in Spain and another $3.4 billion in Germany. These are just two of 17 European countries in which the company plans to expand its network. Microsoft knows how much the electricity bill will cost at each of these locations because the cost calculation includes the cost of running the plant. Just because they don’t tell us doesn’t mean they don’t know. We don’t know, but we do know that temperatures, pollution and energy prices will rise for everyone, including farms, offices, hospitals, factories and homes.

We also don’t know how much water it consumes. But we know they need cooling towers and air mechanisms that evaporate up to nine liters of water for every kWh of energy used. Before completing ChatGPT-4 training, OpenAI’s Iowa data center cluster drank 6% of the county’s water in July 2023. To train Bard and Bing’s respective language models, Google and Microsoft increased water consumption by 20% and 34%, respectively. Microsoft said its plant in the Netherlands will consume between 12 and 20 million liters per year. Local media report that it exceeds 80 million per year. According to the OECD Water Governance Initiative, global demand for artificial intelligence could be between 4.2 and 6.6 billion cubic meters in 2027, more than the annual output of four to six Denmarks or half the United Kingdom. Hyperscalers compete for the same water we all consume and everything else.

The Community of Madrid concentrates 90% of the data centers in Spain, distributed in northern cities such as Alcobendas, Alcala de Henares, San Sebastian de los Reyes, Tres Cantos and other smaller cities such as Alguete or Meco . Neighbors should be able to decide whether they want to share resources with a business that has such a strong and direct impact on the price of energy, access to water and the temperature in their neighborhoods. We don’t even know what guarantees it makes about data management and the unpredictability of predictive models that don’t even distinguish reality from fiction. We Spanish citizens cannot remain under the administration, but although it is becoming increasingly difficult, we still have the right not to want to be governed by extractive and foreign companies such as Amazon, Microsoft or OpenAI.

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