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The Surprising Connection: How ChatGPT’s AI Technology Was Built in Iowa With a Lot of Water

The world of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is ever-evolving, and one of the most talked-about innovations is ChatGPT, a conversational AI model. Interestingly, the technology behind ChatGPT has roots in Iowa, and it comes with a surprising twist: a significant water footprint.

The Iowa Connection

According to recent reports, the cost of building an AI product like ChatGPT can be hard to measure. However, what is clear is that the technology was developed in data centers located in Iowa. The state, known for its agricultural prowess, is now making strides in the tech industry, particularly in the field of AI.

Water Consumption: A Hidden Cost

One of the most intriguing aspects of ChatGPT’s development in Iowa is the substantial amount of water used. In July 2022, Microsoft pumped in about 11.5 million gallons of water into its cluster of Iowa data centers, a month before OpenAI completed its training of GPT-4, the architecture behind ChatGPT. This raises questions about the environmental impact of AI technology, especially in terms of water consumption.

Why Water Matters

Water is a critical resource, and its use in data centers is often overlooked. The water is primarily used for cooling the servers that run 24/7. As AI models become more complex and require more computational power, the need for water in data centers is likely to increase, making it an essential factor to consider in the sustainable development of AI technologies.

Key Takeaways

  • ChatGPT’s technology was developed in data centers in Iowa.
  • Microsoft used approximately 11.5 million gallons of water for cooling in its Iowa data centers in July 2022.
  • The water consumption raises concerns about the environmental sustainability of AI technologies.


The development of ChatGPT in Iowa sheds light on the hidden costs and resources involved in AI technology, particularly the significant water consumption. As we marvel at the capabilities of conversational AI models like ChatGPT, it’s crucial to also consider the environmental impact and strive for more sustainable practices.

Important Points:

  • The technology behind ChatGPT was developed in Iowa.
  • Significant water resources were used in the development process.
  • Sustainability should be a focus in the ongoing development of AI technologies.

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