Google uses AI to reduce power consumption in data centres

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Data centres consume a lot of power and energy and has been posing as a problem for quite a while now. Lucky for us, Google has found a way to solve this problem. Artificial Intelligence (AI) company, DeepMind will play an integral role in Google’s efforts to save the energy and power consumed by its data centres. Google’s parent company, Alphabet recently put a DeepMind AI system in parts of its data centres. The AI system operates computer servers and other equipment such as fans and cooling systems in order to save power and make the servers more environmental-friendly.

Tests have been conducted by the company since the last 2 years on the use of its DeepMind AI technology. It has helped Google to reduce the energy used for data centre cooling by 40 percent and overall energy usage by 15 percent.

Speaking at an AI conference in New York recently (via Bloomberg), Demis Hassabis explained that DeepMind’s technique to saving power in data centres was actually similar to the technique used by the software to teach itself to play Atari video games.

“Using a system of neural networks trained on different operating scenarios and parameters within our data centres, we created a more efficient and adaptive framework to understand data centre dynamics and optimise efficiency,” said DeepMind research engineer Rich Evans.

“We accomplished this by taking the historical data that had already been collected by thousands of sensors within the data centre – data such as temperatures, power, pump speeds, set points, etc – and using it to train an ensemble of deep neural networks.”

Google said it used 4,402,836 MWh of electricity in 2014 which equals to the average yearly consumption of approximately 366,903 U.S family homes. Of the total, a significant amount of electricity is consumed by the data centres.

The London-based DeepMind was acquired by Google in 2014 for $500 million which is said to be one of the biggest European acquisitions in 2014 by the internet giant.

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