Published on February 13, 2024, 4:12 am

Using Generative Ai To Visualize The Impact Of Climate Change On Landmarks

Generative AI Utilized to Visualize the Impact of Climate Change on Landmarks

Utility Bidder, a business-oriented energy consultancy, has employed generative AI technology to create thought-provoking images showcasing the potential consequences of climate change on iconic landmarks around the world. By utilizing the text-to-image tool Midjourney, Utility Bidder generated hypothetical pictures depicting monuments affected by various environmental changes resulting from global warming.

Among the striking visuals produced is an image illustrating cracks on the Great Wall of China. This ancient defense structure, spanning over 21,000 kilometers and built over centuries by several Chinese emperors, is at risk due to both acid rain and sandstorms. The combined effects could lead to sections of the architectural masterpiece collapsing.

Other generated images include Mount Rushmore in South Dakota deteriorating from acid rain caused by fossil fuel combustion and India’s Taj Mahal experiencing increased yellowing of its ivory-white marble exterior due to air pollution. Additionally, there are depictions of the famed reflecting pool outside Angkor Wat potentially turning into cracked earth as a result of severe drought and floods submerging Jordan’s ancient city of Petra. Stonehenge in England may also face the risk of falling, while drought could shrink Victoria Falls located on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.

To create these thought-provoking visuals, Utility Bidder’s team delved into online articles addressing environmental threats faced by each landmark. They then provided relevant prompts to Midjourney, allowing it to generate these imaginings.

James Longley, the managing director at Utility Bidder, emphasizes the importance of preserving our planet and its historic landscapes. He hopes that these impactful images will raise awareness about the damaging impact of climate change and inspire people to take action in preserving these landmarks. Longley encourages individuals to consider their own lifestyle choices as well in order to contribute to this cause.

Generative AI technology has gained significant attention since its introduction by US start-up OpenAI in November 2022, particularly with the launch of their popular ChatGPT bot. Its applications have extended across various industries, including energy, retail, healthcare, and public services. For instance, the United Nations has leveraged AI at its satellite imagery center to analyze flood-stricken areas and determine where disaster response efforts are most needed.

Despite generative AI’s positive impact, scientists have raised concerns about the environmental consequences associated with training and utilizing large language models that power AI chatbots. The computational resources required for these models can result in significant carbon emissions. In fact, a study conducted by researchers at the University of Massachusetts in 2019 revealed that training an AI model could produce over 626,000 pounds (284,000 kg) of carbon dioxide — nearly five times the lifetime emissions of an average American car.

As generative AI continues to evolve and find new applications in various fields, it is crucial to consider its environmental impact alongside its potential benefits. Striking a balance between harnessing cutting-edge technology and preserving our planet is essential for a sustainable future.

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