The Social and Environmental Impact of Artificial Intelligence

New episode of the podcast with Catherine Miller

  • News 11.05.2023

With the release of AI (Artificial Intelligence) applications such as ChatGPT, Dall-E-2, and Runway Gen-2, artificial intelligence has ultimately become mainstream. Today, internet access is virtually all it takes to create AI-generated images, text, and video in the blink of an eye. Even though first effects are already clearly noticeable: The short and medium-term consequences of this rapid development are not yet foreseeable even for experts.

In the new episode of the Wuppertal Institute's podcast, Catherine Miller, Director of the European AI & Society Fund, and Dr. Holger Berg, Vice-Director of the Circular Economy Research Division and Co-Head of the Digital Transformation Research Unit at the Wuppertal Institute, talk about the social and ecological impact of AI: On the one hand, they discuss the resource requirements of AI applications – from the use of rare earths for hardware manufacturing to the energy needed for the operation of AI models to the human labor required for system development. Secondly, Berg and Miller talk about the social aspects of AI, such as the psychologically stressful labor performed by workers in the Global South who train AI models, or the use of AI in determining prison sentences and in credit allocation processes. Miller and Berg raise the question of the extent to which regulation of AI is needed – and whether politics can keep up with the rapid development of AI applications. How AI can help to combat climate change and which conflicts of interest emerge in this context, are other topics discussed in the podcast episode.

This episode of is the first English-language release. However, the podcast will continue to be published primarily in German. The new episode as well as all past episodes are available free of charge on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and as well as the Wuppertal Institute's website.

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