Two years ago, Google acquired artificial intelligence firm DeepMind and since then, the companies have made great strides in artificial intelligence. Now, as detailed by a new report from Bloomberg, Google has even went as far as to put DeepMind to use to help save energy.
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The report says that Google is using technology from DeepMind to help moderate and reduce the energy used by its various data centers. Alphabet has put an artificial intelligence system from DeepMind in control of power consumption by “manipulating computer servers and related equipment like cooling systems.”
DeepMind co-founder, Demis Hassabis, says that the technology used here is similar to what was used when DeepMind taught itself to play Atari video games.
According to Hassabis, the artificial intelligence system set up by DeepMind has cut power usage by “several percentage points, which is a huge savings in terms of cost but, also, great for the environment.” Google says that it has seen a 15 percent improvement in power usage efficiency since the system was implemented.
As Bloomberg notes, Google used 4,402,836 MWh in 2014, so saving a few percentage points off of that could translate into huge amounts of money, seeing that the average rate per MWh is between $25 and $40 in the United States, and even higher in other parts of the world.
Google itself first started applying neural networks to predict power usage back in 2014, but the help of DeepMind has furthered those efforts.
“It controls about 120 variables in the data centers. The fans and the cooling systems and so on, and windows and other things,” Hassabis said. “They were pretty astounded.”
Google is said to have paid over $500 million to acquire DeepMind, so with the energy savings, the acquisition is essentially paying for itself.