​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ Artificial Intelligence (AI) Standards

ITU- T Study Group AI4EE & IFGICT A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) committee members collaborate on Environmental Efficiency for Artificial Intelligence and other Emerging Technologies. Learn more about ITU-T and IFGICT (click here)

The study group committee members identify the standardization needs to develop a sustainable approach to AI and other emerging technologies including automation, augmented reality, virtual reality, extended reality, smart manufacturing, industry 5.0, cloud/edge computing, nanotechnology, 5G, among others. The focus group will develop technical reports and technical specifications to address the environmental efficiency, as well as water and energy consumption of emerging technologies, and provide guidance to stakeholders on how to operate these technologies in a more environmentally efficient manner to meet the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

There will be an open platform for relevant stakeholders – such as representatives of vertical industries, regulators, policy makers, researchers, engineers, practitioners, entrepreneurs, services providers, platform providers, network operators; international organizations, industry forums and consortia – to share knowledge, best practices and lessons learned in the field.

Rationale and Scope

The fourth industrial revolution fundamentally changes the way we live, work and interact with each other. It introduces a whole new range of opportunities for societal transformation, with breakthroughs in fields such as artificial intelligence, Internet of things (IoT), autonomous vehicles, and blockchain that are further embedding technology into our daily lives to improve how we function as a society.

Incorporating digital technology is essential for our society to accelerate the systemic shifts needed to create a circular economy. Utilizing technology may allow for greater knowledge sharing and collaboration, better use of assets and resources, and improved well-being for all, so we can achieve our economic, environmental and social development goals.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies have the ability to positively impact our society and everyday life. For example, AI is the underlying fabric that powers data-driven solutions and applications. Similarly, the immutable nature of blockchain is underpinning the development of cryptocurrency and has great potential in securing high volume of sensory devices. Other emerging technologies may include inter alia: automation, augmented reality, virtual reality, extended reality, 5G, smart manufacturing, industry 5.0, cloud/edge computing, nanotechnology, among others.

However, some emerging technologies including AI may not take sustainability into consideration during their development. These technologies often consume a huge amount of energy when operating, leaving behind significant environmental footprints. For example, the current annual electricity consumption of Bitcoin mining can be comparable to the electricity consumption of Switzerland in one year. It is important to understand how to reduce the environmental footprint of these technologies because it will contribute to the well-being of the market economy as well as improving the quality of life of citizens and the users of these technologies alike.

International standards and guidance on measuring the environmental efficiency and performance of these emerging technologies remain lacking. As more and more emerging technologies are being integrated into different aspects of our society and everyday life, it is vital to develop international standards and metrics that would support the implementation of AI and other emerging technologies in a sustainable manner.

Therefore, the ITU-T Focus Group on “Environmental Efficiency for AI and other Emerging Technologies” (AI4EE) with the contribution of IFGICT – A.I. Committee members will identify the standardization gaps related to the environmental performance of AI and other emerging technologies including automation, augmented reality, virtual reality, extended reality, 5G, smart manufacturing, industry 5.0, cloud/edge computing, nanotechnology, among others. The focus group will develop technical reports and technical specifications to address the environmental efficiency, as well as water and energy consumption of emerging technologies. The focus group will also identify the standardization needs to develop a sustainable approach to AI and other emerging technologies. This focus group will provide guidance to stakeholders on how to operate these technologies in a more environmentally efficient manner to meet the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals and objectives of the FG-AI4EE

The key objectives of the FG-AI4EE may include the following:

  • To identify and analyse the environmental impacts (negative and positive impacts) of deploying and implementing AI and other emerging technologies, such as blockchain.
  • To be a platform for facilitating global dialogue and raising awareness on the environmental impacts of AI and other emerging technologies.
  • To assist relevant stakeholders in minimizing the global environmental impacts of operating AI and other emerging technologies by developing technical reports and technical specifications as needed.
  • To develop a framework and a standardization approach to adopting AI and other emerging technologies in an environmentally sound manner.
  • To benchmark best practices and describe pathways that could lead to international standards, and serve as guidance for operating AI and other emerging technologies in the future.
  • To collaborate with stakeholders, including policymakers, researchers, engineers, economists, developers, international and regional organizations, academia, in evaluating the sustainability of different emerging technologies. The results will describe strategic directions for future standardization efforts in tackling the environmental impacts of these technologies.
  • To write a report(s) of the FG activities on how to support the implementation of AI and other emerging technologies in a sustainable manner after the FG finished its work.

Source (www.itu.int)

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