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Google develops AI algorithm capable of cooling its data centres


If reports are to be believed, Google has been busy testing an AI algorithm which can learn how to cool down a system, in order to keep the power consumption as minimal as possible.

DeepMind, the Google subsidiary responsible for much of its advanced artificial intelligence research, has announced that Google has saved 30% on its energy bills by improving the efficiency of its cooling systems. “This first-of-its-kind cloud-based control system is now safely delivering energy savings in multiple Google data centres,” Google said in a blog post.

Based on past usage trends, DeepMind and Google’s data centre teams developed an algorithm that can predict future energy consumption in its data centres. When implemented, the algorithm manages the cooling configurations — something usually done by a team of experienced humans — in response to changes in demand for computing power, and therefore energy.

“It’s the first time that an autonomous industrial control system will be deployed at this scale, to the best of our knowledge,” said Mustafa Suleyman, head of applied AI at DeepMind, the London-based artificial-intelligence Google company.

Energy saving and being environmentally friendly, go hand in hand and it’s something all the big cloud companies love to shout about; but the main motivation here is money. Electricity consumption is one of the most costly elements of a data centre, and with Google Cloud’s facilities spanning 17 regions around the world, that’s a lot of hardware to keep cool.

As the algorithm is perfected, it should allow Google to get a little more return on the massive investments it is making in data centre hardware as it tries to keep up with Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure in the cloud market. In just the past quarter, Google spent $5.5 billion on capital projects, most of which likely allocated to data centres.

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