Google was using less than 40% less energy to cool a handful of its data centers with the push of a button using artificial intelligence called Deep Mind.
Google flagged the use of artificial intelligence as a major achievement pointing towards how artificial intelligence can be used to make data centers, power plants, energy grids and manufacturing plants more efficient. As these huge, energy-intensive operations use power more efficiently, fewer greenhouse gases are emitted.
“We’re really thrilled about the environmental impact,” said Mustafa Suleyman, who leads applied AI at Google DeepMind, a group of London researchers behind the project.
Suleyman said that DeepMind quickly succeeds in other facilities like power plants which were beyond his expectation. The intelligence has simpler time optimizing Google’s own data centers because the company tracks its operations in great detail. DeepMind’s computers are trained off this information. Once the computer system has learned from the data, it begins to make recommendations such as turning water chillers on and off.
DeepMind used deep learning, a trendy type of artificial intelligence in which computers recognize patterns in large data sets and attained 40% drop in cooling costs which translates to 15% boost in power efficiency. Its computer systems looked at information from the thousands of sensors in each data center and realized tweaks could be made to save energy. For example, a water chiller might be turned off for 20 minutes or even a few hours. Or the temperature might be adjusted by a few degrees. The system learns from experience what specific tweaks are best for a given situation.
DeepMind’s advancement came from an extremely small team. Suleyman said that five or six employees worked on the project for only two or three months.
Google plans to use these techniques in all 15 of its data centers by the end of this year.
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