Computing has a substantial environmental impact, with far-reaching consequences. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) alone contribute to 4% of global carbon emissions, a figure equivalent to the aviation industry's carbon footprint. This impact is poised to increase as the demand for computing continues to surge, particularly at the edge and within massive hyperscale data centers. Creating environmentally sustainable computing solutions presents unique challenges that go beyond energy efficiency optimization. It necessitates a holistic approach that considers various factors. For example, sustainable computing devices must account for the carbon emissions generated during the manufacturing process, the influence of renewable energy sources that fluctuate by location and time on a system's operational emissions, and the intricate interplay between embodied and operational emissions. In this presentation, we will delve into recent breakthroughs and the research challenges we confront as we strive to transition to environmentally responsible computing systems. With a primary focus on the carbon footprint of computing, we will explore recent initiatives aimed at characterizing and comprehending the environmental impact of computing. We will also introduce new carbon accounting models and frameworks, highlighting their application in pertinent domains, such as AI, to promote the development of sustainable AI solutions.
Udit Gupta is an Assistant Professor at Cornell Tech, where his research is dedicated to pioneering the development of cutting-edge and ethically responsible AI platforms through the innovation of novel computer systems and hardware. His recent endeavors are centered around the design and optimization of data center-based, deep learning-driven personalized recommendation systems and championing eco-friendly computing by meticulously considering the ecological implications associated with the entire hardware life cycle.
Udit's groundbreaking research has been tested and validated within production data centers at a large scale but has also found its place in established benchmarks and infrastructures that are widely embraced by the research community. His contributions were acknowledged with an honorable mention as an IEEE MICRO Top Picks selection in 2020 and further distinguished with an IEEE MICRO Top Picks award in 2021 and 2022. His work earned nominations for the Best Paper awards at PACT 2019 and DAC 2018. Furthermore, his doctoral research received the prestigious SIGARCH Outstanding Ph.D. Dissertation award honorable mention and the SIGMICRO Outstanding Ph.D. Dissertation award honorable mention.