Computers will use more electricity than the entire world can generate
by 2040, tech experts claim
Nightmare scenario means humanity will be simply unable to power the
systems which keep us alive
But the current digital big bang could end with a disappointing whimper bec
ause humanity may be unable to produce enough power to keep computers runni
ng, experts have warned.
A leading technical organised called the Semiconductor Industry Association
has produced a study which said that computer-crazy society will be runnin
g short of electricity by 2040
It wrote: “Computing will not be sustainable by 2040, when the ener
gy required for computing will exceed the estimated world’s energy
The Semiconductor Industry Association meets every year to discuss how elec
tronic components called transistors – which power computer circuit
s – can be made ever smaller.
Now the organisation is conceding that they probably won’t get any
tinier, heralding the end of an era where computers got faster and faster a
s transistors shrunk to every tinier sizes.
This means tech firms will have to think of new ways to make computers powe
rful enough to keep up with demands.
“Driverless cars and personalised medicine along with countless oth
er applications of intelligent systems are on the horizon, the Semiconducto
r Industry Association added.
The year 2040 carries a huge resonance in the tech world, because some peop
le believe that’s when artificial intelligence will become as cleve
r as us humans – a moment known as the singularity.
This is unlikely to happen if we keep suffering power cuts because our comp
uters are taking up too much energy.
What’s the best way to make sure a malign computer doesn’t
wipe us all out?
Make sure it’s not plugged in.