Professor Deblina Sarkar and PhD student Shivam Kajale of the MIT Media Lab, in conjunction with Ralf Herbrich from Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI), University of Potsdam, Germany, have received the funding grant: “Designing for Sustainability MIT-HPI Joint Research Program.”
This program, co-created by the MIT Morningside Academy for Design and the Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI), engages joint scientific research by multidisciplinary teams at both institutes, at the intersection of sustainable design, innovation, and digital technologies. Projects are selected based on their potential for large societal impact and promise in reaching United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
The joint project by Sarkar, Kajale, and Herbrich, titled “Design of 2D magnetic material based computing devices for environmentally sustainable Artificial Intelligence,” will develop energy-efficient paradigms for computing by reinventing in the material, device, architecture, and algorithm spaces.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a powerful technology that has seen tremendous growth in its application space and accuracy in the last two decades, and this trend is only increasing at present. With the current growth of AI systems, an alarming 30% of the world’s primary electricity in 2030 will be consumed by computers. This has direct environmental implications, as electricity generation is a major contributor of greenhouse gases in the world. Given the rapid increase in artificial intelligence (AI), there is an immediate need to design alternate, energy-efficient paradigms for computing by rethinking computer design across the stack, encompassing materials, devices, architecture, and algorithms.
By utilizing their collective but complementary expertise across material science and electronic devices and computing architectures and algorithms, the team will jointly provide a well-rounded solution to the impending problem of increasing electricity consumption due to computers and artificial intelligence.
Furthermore, this project on design of energy-efficient paradigms for AI aligns with several of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: climate action, sustainable consumption, and by extension, affordable and clean energy.