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AI Development May Leave Us Without Electricity, Elon Musk Warns

The businessman believes AI will become smarter than the smartest human by 2026.

As we all know, whenever someone with a financial interest in a certain field sings praises to said field and predicts its world-altering potential, it's important to take it with a grain of salt, considering their potential biases. That's why it comes as a surprise that Elon Musk, the CEO of artificial intelligence development company xAI and someone who is directly invested in AI advancement, has recently shared a dire warning regarding the technology, pointing out that the ongoing expansion of AI may leave us without electricity within the next couple of years.

In a recent interview with Nicolai Tangen, Musk reflected on the hurdles encountered by big-tech in the past year and speculated about future challenges. Discussing the industry's hardware-related issues, he highlighted that while chip constraints, which plagued the industry back in 2022-2023, are the problem of the past, this year's primary obstacle is the lack of voltage transformers, essential for many AI developers in running their models. Looking forward, Musk warned that the crisis next year could revolve around a shortage of electricity altogether, considering the immense power needed to train AI.

Just how much power, you might ask? Well, according to the CEO, training the Grok 2 model demanded xAI to utilize about 20,000 NVIDIA H100 GPUs, with Musk mentioning that they would require at least 100,000 H100 chips for Grok 3.

Based on calculations from Tom's Hardware, NVIDIA's H100 GPU consumes approximately 700W when fully utilized, meaning that 100,000 GPUs, coupled with servers and cooling a data center needs to operate, would consume an astounding 100 megawatts of power each day. That's enough energy to sustain a small city, all just to train an AI model.

Image Credit: Frederic Legrand, COMEO/Shutterstock

Additionally, the businessman commented on the capabilities of artificial general intelligence (AGI) as a whole, expressing his belief that AI will surpass human intelligence by the year 2026. "If you define AGI as smarter than the smartest human, I think it's probably next year, within two years," Musk said in the interview.

So, what's your take on Musk's remarks? Is it a genuine warning or is it just an attempt to stifle AI advancements for his own benefit? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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