In just a coupla months, our relationship with AI has blasted from ‘friend zone’ to ‘it’s complicated’. 😬 Sure, some of us have enjoyed flirting with AI’s potential to, say, woo matches on Tinder (MTCH). But the ability of artificial intelligence to inspire deep emotions has others falling helplessly in love. Could that be why Elon wants the industry to take things slow? 🐌
One thing that’s not slowing down is the huge boom in new cloud data centres being rolled out across Aotearoa to support our new robot overlords, bringing a whole new meaning to ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’. ☁️
Last week Microsoft (MSFT) got permission to splash $180 million NZD on land to build new data centres here, and Amazon’s (AMZN) AWS is planning to splurge a whopping $7.5 billion NZD on New Zealand-based bit barns. DCI data centres, owned by Brookfield Asset Management (BAM), has also started construction on Tāmaki Makaurau’s largest data centre, a $400 million NZD monster called AKL02. 🤖
Why the boom down under? Despite being thousands of kilometres away from, well, anything, Big Tech is being drawn to New Zealand’s other clouds. ⛈️ Yep, it turns out that the same raging atmospheric rivers that tried to ruin our summer festival vibes are amazing for filling up our data lakes and rivers for renewable energy production.
Crunching all that AI data is thirsty work. Simply training ChatGPT 3 is estimated to have produced the same emissions as driving to the moon. For an industry estimated to consume almost 2% of the world’s electricity by 2030, New Zealand is like the pot of gold at the end of the ESG rainbow. Because being here enables big operators like Datacom, Microsoft and DCI to happily declare their new data centres as powered on 100% renewable energy. Just don’t turn up to throw rocks at their windows if your sexting chatbot dumps you.💔