Google uses AI to save on electricity

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Its artificial intelligence division, DeepMind, has cut Google’s data centres’ energy consumption by 15%, using a machine-learning algorithm.

Data centres run the equipment that processes the data consumed by internet users, and it takes a lot of energy to keep their servers cool.

Some of the newer ones are now being built in colder climates.

But some estimates suggest they are now responsible for 2% of global greenhouse-gas emissions.

“Being able to put a dent in that benefits the world in general,” said DeepMind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman.

Fed vast swathes of historical data collected by sensors measuring temperature and power, DeepMind’s general purpose algorithm – similar to the one trained to play Atari games – had come up with a real-time, adaptive system that had cut the cost of cooling by 40% and the overall energy consumption by 15%, Mr Suleyman said.

“This will have a significant environmental impact,” he said.

The system will be rolled out across all of Google’s data centres by the end of the year.

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