After an inspirational opening touching on areas like AI use for COVID vaccine development, cancer research, and supercomputer-driven digital twins of Earth to predict future climate patterns, Ghazi cited a few eye-opening statistics and their implications.
He pointed out how data continues to grow exponentially. Before 2018, data was mostly generated through humans interacting with an application, but in the past four years, machines have begun to generate much more useful data. Looking ahead to 2025, this trend will grow from roughly 30 zettabytes to 160 zettabytes of data. The challenge going forward is that as data increases, the models that consume this data will also grow in complexity.
Ghazi went on to explain that for AI to mimic the human brain, we must look toward context-aware transformer models. However, these models come at a price as they push the limits of chip design. This, in turn, causes concerns for energy and the environment. For example, running a transformer model for computer vision or natural language processing applications to 13 percent completion consumes the same amount of energy as an average household over a year.
As an industry, he pointed out that we need to reiterate how AI applications are vastly net positive, even if they add to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. As well as helping to solve complex virus puzzles and many other human-enhancing things, AI will play a key role in helping the world manage and lower CO2 emissions, defined as Scope 3 emissions and detailed by the US EPA organization.
He discussed the growing talent shortage and offered novel ways to manage it, also using AI/ML. With the right deployment of the technology, senior design teams are now able to perform at a much higher level of efficiency, while junior design teams, supported by AI tools, can perform like senior design teams can today.
The conclusion of his talk highlighted these benefits, as well as ways to address design complexity and the carbon footprint implication of AI models. It turns out AI is both a problem and a solution.