Published on May 30, 2024, 9:00 pm

Last year, as many CIOs were gearing up for their first round of scope 3 reports, generative artificial intelligence (AI) made its way into virtually every office. Sometimes it walked in through the front door, but in most cases, it quietly seeped in as employees experimented with it to draft documents and emails without necessarily admitting they were doing so.

In many organizations, the use cases stopped there, but some IT departments are endorsing – and even encouraging – the use of generative AI for tasks like coding. However, other organizations are looking to their software providers for updates that include generative AI components. On the opposite end of the spectrum are companies like the Swedish financial technology company Klarna which has integrated generative AI not only into a range of internal projects but also into the products they sell. They have developed an AI governance including guidelines on how it should be used in projects.

Klarna has heavily leaned towards AI since launching ChatGPT in November 2022 with a general feeling within the company that generative AI can help nearly everyone in the organization be more effective regardless of their skill level or function. Martin Elwin, Klarna’s Senior Director of Engineering stated, “We’re currently exploring about a hundred initiatives both in production and under development across the company where we could utilize generative AI,” adding that it’s not only engineers but everyone from finance and legal to marketing departments and beyond.

A few weeks ago, Klarna unveiled an AI assistant that answers user queries with minimal to no human assistance. The software aids consumers in finding items they want to purchase from relevant commerce platforms and assists them with payments and post-sales support. According to Daniel Greaves, Head of Communications at Klarna, this new generation of AI was an instant success. He mentioned,”Within four weeks of its launch, our AI assistant handled two-thirds of our customer service chat inquiries, essentially performing work equivalent to about 700 people.”

Nevertheless, these and other uses of AI are raising concerns. Srini Koushik Rackspace Technology’s President of ​​AI,
Technology & Sustainability points out that “At face value and as it exists today, AI and sustainability lead you in opposite directions.” He explained further emphasizing on energy consumption throughout processes involving training large language models or running inference.

Despite challenges regarding energy consumption from leveraging Artificial Intelligence technologies like Generative AI (GenAI), experts believe that benefits far outweigh this drawback by aiding researchers discover more efficient energy sources while optimizing current ones’ usage through enhanced energy distribution methods.

As firms delve deeper into utilizing Generative AI technologies like ChatGPT or Copilot for various tasks within different departments ranging from finance to marketing sectors among others; efforts are directed towards ensuring efficiency while minimizing carbon footprints during operations thus aligning with sustainability goals.

The push towards more sustainable practices concerning Generative AI encompasses evaluating energy inputs during training models versus output efficiency during inference thereby striving for optimized performance harnessed through lighter model architectures tailored per task requirements rather than one-size-fits-all approaches using massive models which tend to consume excessive power resources.

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