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Online Advertising Estimated to Use as Much Energy as a Small Country

By New Scientist

November 23, 2022

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Researchers at Spain's UC3M-Santander Big Data Institute and the Norway-based advertising technology company Cavai developed a system that can calculate energy consumption related to online advertising.

CarbonTag adds a small piece of code to an advertisement in order to collect data that can be used to determine how much energy is used by the user's device, along with software that measures clicks and other ad performance metrics.

An artificial intelligence-powered system then estimates the energy consumption of each ad.

The system determined median per-ad energy consumption ranged from 0.3 milliwatt-hours on a Windows laptop to 8 milliwatt-hours on a Windows desktop.

Said UC3M-Santander Big Data Institute's Patricia Callejo, "Online advertising consumes more than we think, comparable to a small country" such as Luxembourg.

From New Scientist
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