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Joe Biden starts to campaign on AI

On May 8, Joe Biden spoke at Gateway Technical College in Racine, Wisconsin. The president was bragging.

Six years after his predecessor, Donald Trump, visited the same city to boast of Taiwanese tech company Foxconn’s $10 billion plan to bring a LCD manufacturing plant to Racine — that never materialized — Biden chose the same site for a new high-tech manufacturing project of his own. Microsoft will invest $3.3 billion to build a new data center to support artificial intelligence, a project that the company says will bring 2,000 permanent jobs and 2,300 union construction jobs to Wisconsin.

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LEDs light up in a server rack in a data center.

Sebastian Gollnow/dpa via Reuters

Electric Company and Water Works

The artificial intelligence boom has brought new strains on the environment, namely through demands on electricity and water. The International Energy Agency estimates that, by 2026, the rise of AI and cryptocurrency will lead to an increase in electricity used by global data centers—a figure that could range anywhere between a 35% and 128% increase.

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