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Apple’s new custom emoji come with climate costs

Many different kinds of emoji superimposed over an image of a man standing in a white room.
Screenshot: Apple

Soon, you’ll be able to create you own emoji and generate custom images with new AI features on Apple devices. I hate to be the bearer of bad news (and I’m guilty of grossly overusing emoji myself) — but those images could have the biggest environmental impact of all of Apple’s new AI tools.

Generative AI is notoriously energy-hungry, which means it leads to a lot of planet heating greenhouse gas emissions. Image generation, in particular, is one of the worst offenders. The AI arms race has already started to grow some companiescarbon footprints. Now, new fruit emoji varietals and sketches generated by AI are likely to add to the problem.

Apple announced its new suite of…

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