😐️ Uncertain

PLUS: Can Microsoft hit their climate goals?

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Happy Thursday, fellow humans 👋

Microsoft might miss its goal of becoming carbon-negative by 2030, a bipartisan group is urging Congress to spend $32B on developing AI safeguards, and Gen Z and Millennials are feeling uncertain about this current wave of GenAI…

Let’s dive into it!

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🧵 In today's edition:

  • ♻️ Can Microsoft hit their climate goals?

  • 💸 $32B in emergency funding

  • 😐️ Uncertain

  • 🛠️ AI Tools to Check Out

  • 🤑 AI Fundraising News

  • 🐦 Tweet Post of the Day

Microsoft's aggressive pursuit of AI dominance challenges its climate objectives, including its goal to become carbon-negative by 2030.

Plus, a recent sustainability report revealed that Microsoft saw a 30% increase in total emissions.

The main cause? Rising demand for AI products like ChatGPT.

  • Training and operating these AI models require substantial computing power and data centers.

  • Due to this, Microsoft plans to spend over $50B on expanding data center infrastructure this year alone, with an even larger budget anticipated for next year.

The construction of new data centers contributes significantly to carbon emissions due to the required steel, concrete, and energy-consuming microchips. To put it in perspective, Microsoft's electricity consumption in 2022 was comparable to that of a small European country like Slovenia.

Although Microsoft claims to run on 100% renewable energy, a large portion is obtained by purchasing inexpensive renewable energy credits instead of direct investments in new clean energy capacity. The company admits that emissions reduction will necessitate significant advancements in green steel, concrete, and data center chips.

Overall: Microsoft President Brad Smith maintains a positive outlook, believing that AI's environmental benefits will eventually surpass its ecological impact.

However, immediate and significant action is necessary for the company to reach its 2030 carbon-negative goal, especially considering that AI's rapid growth makes this a near-impossible task.

Read more: Bloomberg

Source: BDC

A bipartisan group of four senators, led by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, is urging Congress to spend at least $32B over the next three years on developing AI capabilities and implementing safeguards. 

Here’s the tea: 

  • In a 33-page report released Wednesday, the two Democrats and two Republicans argue that the U.S. must "harness the opportunities and address the risks of AI” as other countries like China invest in it. 

  • Their recommendation? Emergency funding for AI research, development, testing standards, new transparency requirements around AI product rollouts, and studies on AI's potential job impacts.

While passing AI legislation will be difficult in a divided Congress and election year, the senators say regulation and innovation incentives are urgently needed. Republican Sen. Mike Rounds noted the funding would help the U.S. keep pace with global AI competition while potentially unlocking major quality-of-life improvements like curing diseases.

Overall: The group's year-long review included forums with top tech executives like Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and Sundar Pichai, who all agreed that government oversight of AI is necessary. Some initial AI election security bills have advanced in the Senate, but broader legislation faces partisan hurdles.

Still, the senators argue rapid action is critical as the U.S. currently leads in AI but could quickly fall behind other nations. They aim to provide a policy roadmap balancing innovation with necessary guardrails as the "hair on fire" moment for governing AI arrives.

Read more: AP News

😐️ Uncertain

“Uncertain.”

That’s how Gen Z and Millennials feel about this current wave of GenAI. 

Deloitte recently surveyed Gen Z and Millennials, including 22,800 participants from 44 countries. Here’s what they found:

  • Gen Z and Millennials have conflicting views on the impact of AI, particularly GenAI like ChatGPT, on their careers and the future of work.

    • Approximately a quarter of them use GenAI at work frequently and believe it will increase their leisure hours, improve their work efficiency, and enhance their work-life balance.

    • However, the more they use GenAI, the more they worry about automating jobs and making it harder for younger generations to enter the workforce.

  • The survey revealed that environmental sustainability is their top priority, with about 60% experiencing climate anxiety. And approximately 40% have changed jobs or plan to do so due to environmental concerns.

  • About 59% believe that AI-driven automation will eliminate jobs, a belief that rises to 71% among frequent GenAI users at work. As a result, nearly 60% feel that the rise of AI will necessitate reskilling and significantly influence their career decisions as they seek jobs less susceptible to automation.

  • Despite recognizing the need for reskilling, only about half feel their employers provide adequate training on GenAI capabilities and value. Regardless, 38% of Gen Z and 36% of Millennials plan to participate in GenAI training within the next 12 months.

Overall: While AI continues to advance rapidly, Gen Z and Millennials are concerned but practical about the need to reskill for an AI-driven future and demand more corporate action on pressing issues such as climate change.

Read more: Fast Co.

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🤑 AI Fundraising News

  • Firmus raises an undisclosed financing round to provide an AI design review and risk analysis platform that enables general contractors, developers, and AEC stakeholders to detect and mitigate design issues early.

  • Weka raises $140M in Series E funding to create a data platform featuring a cloud and AI-native architecture, providing data portability across on-premises, cloud, and edge environments.

🐦 Tweet Post of the Day

Sounds about right 😅 

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