Towards Sustainable Artificial Intelligence and Datacenters

Thursday March 14, 2024 9:00am to 10:00am
Towne 337
220 S. 33rd Street
Philadelphia , PA 19104

As the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) continues to proliferate, computer architects must assess and mitigate its environmental impact. This talk will survey strategies for reducing the carbon footprint of AI computation and datacenter infrastructure, drawing on data and experiences from industrial, hyperscale systems. First, we analyze the embodied and operational carbon implications of super-linear AI growth. Second, we re-think datacenter infrastructure and define a solution space for carbon-free computation with renewable energy, utility-scale batteries, and job scheduling. Finally, we develop strategies for datacenter demand response, incentivizing both batch and real-time workloads to modulate power usage in ways that reflect their performance costs. In summary, the talk provides a broad perspective on sustainable computing and outlines the many remaining directions for future work.


Benjamin C. Lee

Professor of Electrical and Systems Engineering and of Computer and Information Science

School of Engineering and Applied Science

Benjamin C. Lee is a Professor of Electrical and Systems Engineering and of Computer and Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Lee’s research focuses on computer architecture, energy efficiency, environmental sustainability, and security. He builds interdisciplinary links to machine learning and algorithmic game theory to better design and manage computer systems. His research has been recognized by IEEE Micro Top Picks, Communications of the ACM Research Highlights, as well as publication honors from the ASPLOS, HPCA, MICRO, and SC conferences. Dr. Lee was an Assistant and then Associate Professor at Duke University. He received his post-doctorate in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, Ph.D. in Computer Science from Harvard University, and B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley. He has also held visiting positions at Meta AI, Microsoft Research, Intel Labs, and Lawrence Livermore National Lab. Dr. Lee received the NSF Computing Innovation Fellowship, NSF CAREER Award, and Google Faculty Research Award. He is an IEEE Fellow and ACM Distinguished Scientist.