Three tall industrial chimneys with smoke billowing

Some small thoughts on climate change.

Working in Higher Ed we often despair of the way people ignore the warning signs of climate change, we work at dispelling the misinformation of climate deniers. But when we are told that Gen AI is contributing to climate change, we shrug our shoulders and carry on. The energy and water consumption of AI technologies, especially those involving large-scale data processing, is substantial. The data centres powering these technologies require vast amounts of electricity, often sourced from non-renewable energy, and they also use huge amounts of water to cool data centres.

This has been widely published, people working in higher education know the facts (or should). And universities are places where you will find both staff and students advocating for sustainable practices trying to save the planet.

People like Charles Logan have been arguing that these social and environmental considerations must form part of a critical AI literacy. As researchers, educators, and policymakers, we have a responsibility model technology use that is environmentally sustainable. But instead, each day in my social feeds I see people converting their work into a haiku, or deep faking themselves delivering a lecture from Everest, or a myriad other pointless things. And probably 90% of the “innovations” have very little pedagogical value, or improve the outcomes of students. We just do it because we can.

Meanwhile we are burning the world on which we live.

This was a short post, less than 250 words.

If I was a paid subscriber of the hellhole that was Twitter I could have posted it as single (not tweet).

A lot of people I know have started posting content on LinkedIn (although there is evidence that they behaviours that made Twitter toxic are appearing there too).

So why not post something this short on LinkedIn?  Honestly, because it is mine. And it might not be a huge world changing thought that I have put down on paper; but still, why should I surrender it to LinkedIn or any other platform. We see some of these “professional-social” platforms encouraging us to share our thinking, and our words and images on their sites. And when we do, we grant them a license to use it. we give them the right to use, copy, modify, distribute, publish and process, information and content that we provide through their  Services and the services of others, without any further consent, notice and/or compensation to us or anyone else.  Sure, there are modifiers and clauses to that, but essentially the gist is that they can do what they want with your content.

So no, I think I am going to try and remember to post here, on my terms instead.

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