040 | ChatGPT's Thirst Problem

Brainyacts #40

Sunday Briefing.

Welcome to a special edition of Brainyacts. Today I am including a mini-executive briefing.

Dive in as we explore the paradox of how generative AI is both flooding the legal market with opportunities and leaving data centers thirstier than ever.

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Ok, today we will:

  1. give you a mini-executive briefing

  2. shape some niches for lawyers

  3. create a table of tone modifiers for your prompts

  4. list some upcoming AI events

  5. talk news you can use

  6. question an updated meme

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ChatGPT is Thirsty: a mini exec briefing

We touch on:

  1. data centers and H20,

  2. ChatGPT’s impact on water consumption, and

  3. how this creates opportunities for lawyers.

How is water related to ChatGPT?

Between the growing number of data centers + the exponential growth in consumer-grade Generative AI tools, water is becoming a scarce resource.

🏭 First, let’s talk about data centers:

Data centers use water primarily for two reasons: cooling and power generation. This usage can be problematic due to the large amounts of water required, the potential for local water depletion, and the environmental impact of water consumption and discharge.

🥶 Cooling: Data centers generate a significant amount of heat due to the operation of servers and other electronic equipment. To prevent overheating and maintain optimal performance, data centers use water-based cooling systems, such as cooling towers, evaporative coolers, and liquid cooling solutions. These systems consume water either by evaporating it to dissipate heat or by circulating it through cooling equipment.

🔌 Power generation: Some data centers rely on water for power generation, particularly if they use hydroelectric or thermoelectric power plants. In these cases, water is an essential resource for producing electricity.

The increasing demand for data centers and the rise of generative AI has led to an increase in water usage. Generative AI, like other AI applications, requires significant computational resources, leading to the construction of more data centers and the expansion of existing ones. As a result, the overall water consumption associated with data centers has grown.

The problematic aspects of water usage in data centers include:

Depletion of local water resources: High water usage by data centers can strain local water supplies, especially in areas that are already water-stressed or experiencing drought.

🌱 Environmental impact: Large-scale water extraction and discharge can lead to ecosystem imbalances, affect aquatic life, and contribute to water pollution.

⚡️ Energy consumption: The process of treating, pumping, and heating or cooling water consumes energy, which in turn contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.

To mitigate the negative impacts of water usage, data center operators are increasingly adopting sustainable practices, such as using alternative cooling methods, improving cooling efficiency, and utilizing renewable energy sources. Additionally, data center operators are exploring ways to reduce the environmental impact of AI, including developing more energy-efficient AI algorithms and hardware.

🤖 Now, let’s look at how this related to ChatGPT.

AI chatbots like ChatGPT are guzzling down water at an alarming rate, and it's time to quench their thirst for H2O. With billions of users worldwide, the water consumption of these AI-driven marvels is raising eyebrows and concern. Here's the lowdown on this thirsty business:

A single 20-50 question conversation with ChatGPT may gulp down a 500ml bottle of water, according to a recent study.

• Microsoft's training of GPT-3 alone might have consumed a whopping 700,000 liters (185,000 gallons) of water - enough to produce 370 BMW cars.

• AI models like Google's LaMDA can drain millions of liters of water, a "stunning" amount that demands attention.

• Researchers are urging companies to take responsibility for their water footprint and to address the issue in the face of global water shortages.

The message is clear: it's time for AI models to dive into the world of social responsibility and make a splash in the fight against global water scarcity.

🎁 Where are the opportunities for lawyers?

As I’ve written before, the riches are in the niches.

The adage "the riches are in the niches" suggests that focusing on specialized markets or interests can yield greater rewards than trying to cater to a broad audience. By honing in on a particular niche, one can tap into unmet needs and desires, unlocking hidden opportunities and prosperity.

Here are some trends that make the water usage of data centers an interesting niche for lawyers:

  • Water usage concerns: Data centers require significant amounts of water for cooling, raising concerns about water scarcity, especially in drought-stricken areas.

  • Local opposition: Some communities are pushing back against data center developments due to concerns about water usage and its impact on local water supplies.

  • Growth of data centers: The demand for data centers has been increasing due to the rise in data-intensive cloud services, leading to more data centers being built by large tech companies.

  • Cooling technologies: Data centers typically use computer room air-conditioning systems or evaporative cooling, with the latter being more water-intensive but less electricity-intensive.

  • Environmental considerations: Some data center operators are attracted to water-scarce regions due to the availability of solar and wind energy, although environmental considerations may not always play a significant role in location decisions.

  • Water stewardship efforts: Tech companies like Google and Microsoft are working to address their water usage and become more water efficient or "water positive."

  • Local regulations and ordinances: Some cities have implemented ordinances to restrict the development of water-intensive businesses like data centers, while others have required developers to obtain water credits to ensure access to water supplies.

  • Innovations in cooling: Companies are exploring alternative cooling strategies, such as free-air cooling, immersion cooling, and using seawater or recycled wastewater for cooling, to reduce water usage in data centers.

Key niche opportunities.

As generative AI grows, so do data centers and their insatiable thirst for water. Data centers gulp down H2O for cooling and power generation, but this water binge can strain local supplies and disrupt ecosystems. What's a savvy, eco-conscious lawyer to do? Find your niche and ride the wave of legal opportunities created by this high-tech, water-guzzling industry.

  • Make a splash in environmental and water law: Help clients navigate the sea of permits, regulations, and compliance issues surrounding data center water usage.

  • Surf the green wave of sustainability consulting: Guide data center operators in adopting eco-friendly practices, such as alternative cooling methods and renewable energy.

  • Dive into land use and zoning: Ensure data center operators anchor their facilities in compliance with local regulations.

  • Safeguard the data treasure chest: Advise on data protection laws and cybersecurity best practices to keep data centers' valuable information secure.

  • Float on green financing opportunities: Help clients tap into eco-friendly funding sources like green bonds and loans, while navigating the regulatory landscape of sustainable investments.

By immersing yourself in one of these emerging legal areas, you can make a difference for both the planet and the AI-driven legal profession. So, grab your surfboard and catch the next big wave of legal opportunities in the world of water-guzzling data centers!

Tone Modifers for your Prompts

When you create a prompt, it is often helpful to instruct ChatGPT to use a certain tone in its reply. Using these ‘tone modifiers’ helps create more useful responses that might also help you generate more ideas.

Here is a link to 20 of them for you to try. This table contains the modifiers, how they impact the response, use cases, and examples of the tone.

AI Events

  1. Virtual event on April 18th. Intellectual Property, Contract Considerations & Generative AI

  2. Here is a Google Doc of GenAI events in the month of April in San Francisco (some are virtual).

  3. Virtual event on April 24th. Generative AI's Disruptive Force on the Future of Work

  4. London event on April 27th. Generative AI: Turbo-charging Creativity

News you can Use: 

Move over humans

A $3 billion Chinese company plans to ditch its human copywriters and graphic designers with ChatGPT-like generative AI models.

GPT-4 Capable of Doing Autonomous Scientific Research

  • OpenAI's GPT-4 can autonomously conduct scientific research using the Intelligent Agent System

  • GPT-4's success rate matches or exceeds human chemists in executing experiments

  • Ethical implications: potential misuse and displacement of human workers

  • Benefits: speed, efficiency, and accuracy in various scientific applications

  • Limitations: lack of creative problem-solving skills, unexpected outcomes requiring human intervention

  • Breakthrough shows potential benefits of AI in scientific experimentation despite limitations

Sunday Meme

Sometimes the OG Meme still reigns supreme. Yes? Someone tried to “update” the classic meme. Don’t think it is better.

That's a wrap for today. Stay thirsty & see ya next time! If you want more, be sure to follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

DISCLAIMER: None of this is legal advice. This newsletter is strictly educational and is not legal advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any legal decisions. Please /be careful and do your own research.