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E3: InterNET ZERO: Towards Resource Responsible Trustworthy Autonomous Systems

Project: Research


As the Internet expands through paradigms like Internet of Things devices, multi-player gaming, videotelephony and the Metaverse, autonomous systems are increasingly necessitated to mediate society’s unfettered dataflows.

Due to their perceived immateriality, autonomous systems are often promoted as resource efficient technologies which help mitigate the unsustainable impacts of the Internet’s rapidly expanding data-driven ecosystem. Yet because of their ubiquity and scale, the environmental impacts of hyperscale autonomous systems are intensifying and their sustainable trustworthiness frequently undermined.

These systems can themselves be extremely energy hungry and create huge amounts of CO2 emissions. Subsequently, they contribute to digital technology’s growing global carbon footprint which is currently around 4% of worldwide emissions.

Funded by the UKRI EPSRC TAS Hub, the InterNET ZERO project will aim to help tackle the environmental, social and technical challenges being presented by autonomous Internet technologies. The 15-month project will see Imagination (Design) researchers work with colleagues from University of Nottingham (Computing) and the University of Bristol (Science & Technology Studies) to apply interdisciplinary expertise including speculative design, co-design, human-data interaction and critical infrastructure policy methods.

The researchers will collaborate with cross-sector partners Energy Systems Catapult, Blackburn’s digital fabrication lab The Making Rooms, and climate data cooperative Subak to run a programme of work that will engage with a range of stakeholders – including technologists, policymakers, and citizens – to rethink current autonomous system design and co-create new visions and pathways for more resource responsible and trustworthy future Internet infrastructures.
Effective start/end date1/04/2330/06/24


  • EPSRC: £143,731.18



Research outputs