Multi-purpose AI models like GPT-4 use 'orders of magnitude' more energy than task-specific ones, research

A steam hammer to crack a nut

John Leonard
clock • 2 min read
Multi-purpose AI models use 'orders of magnitude' more energy than task-specific ones, research
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Multi-purpose AI models use 'orders of magnitude' more energy than task-specific ones, research

There has been a surge in the popularity of products based on multi-purpose GenAI systems, which can handle images, video and text and carry out multiple different tasks. These multimodal or "zero-shot" models, including GPT-4 and PaLM, are finding their way into search engines, email and navigation.

However, the ambition of "generality" pursued by AI companies comes at a high environmental cost. For many use cases it's a high-powered steam hammer to crack a nut. Researchers Alexandra Sasha ...

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