A coalition of environmental, tech, and anti-hate speech groups has sent a letter to Senator Chuck Schumer, urging him to develop policies to address the environmental impact of AI on climate change. The letter states that companies should be required to disclose the environmental impact of developing energy-intensive AI models, and legislation should include measures to prevent the spread of climate change disinformation with the help of AI. The letter was signed by various groups, including Amazon Employees for Climate Justice and Greenpeace USA. Large language models, such as ChatGPT, are a particular concern for the coalition because of their energy consumption. The letter proposes that companies publicly report the energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of their AI models, including the impact of users’ search queries. The coalition also highlights the need to assess the use of metals and critical minerals in AI and their potential impact on clean energy resources. The letter expresses worry about the potential for AI tools to amplify disinformation campaigns. It suggests that companies and executives should be held liable for harms caused by generative AI and calls for transparency in how AI models create content. Senator Schumer has called for regulations on AI and plans to hold hearings on AI oversight. The carbon footprint of AI is not the only industry under scrutiny, as there are also efforts to force Bitcoin mining companies to disclose their electricity consumption and pollution. The SEC has proposed requiring companies to report the climate impact of their operations, and California may pass a bill mandating greenhouse gas emissions disclosures from large companies.
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