New use of alpha dog technology: helping Google reduce electricity bills


Demis hassabis, co-founder of Google's deepmind, recently said at the artificial intelligence conference in New York that Google is using technology from deepmind to optimize the energy consumption of the data center, so as to save a lot of energy costs.

In recent months, Google is using deepmind's artificial intelligence system to control some parts of the data center, so as to optimize the energy consumption of servers and refrigeration equipment. Previously, deepmind's technology was used to teach computers to play Atari games.

Hasabis said that this technology has reduced the energy consumption of Google's data center by several percentage points. "From the cost point of view, this has brought huge savings, but also conducive to environmental protection."

Google said that such optimization has led to a 15% improvement in energy efficiency. The energy efficiency index compares the power consumption of computers with that of infrastructure such as refrigeration systems.

Google said that the power consumption in 2014 was 4402836 megawatt hours, equivalent to the annual average power consumption of 366903 U.S. households. A large part of these power consumption comes from the data center, which is the foundation of Google's Web services and mobile applications.

Reducing power consumption by a few percentage points will be a huge financial help for Google. According to the U.S. energy information administration, electricity prices in the United States are usually $25 to $40 per megawatt hour. Therefore, if the energy consumption of the data center is reduced by 10%, Google can save hundreds of millions of dollars in a few years. Google acquired deepmind for £ 400 million in 2014, which was equivalent to more than $600 million at that time.

Google has previously applied machine learning technology in data centers. In 2014, Google said that it was using neural network system to predict the change of energy consumption over time, so as to arrange equipment more effectively.

Deepmind's work goes further on this basis. The company's software can adjust the operation mode of equipment in the data center and improve energy efficiency. "This controls about 120 variables in the data center, including fans, refrigeration systems, windows and other equipment," hassabis said

He also said that this is only the beginning of the project. At present, deepmind knows that this method is effective, and also begins to understand what information its artificial intelligence system lacks. Therefore, deepmind may require Google to deploy new sensors in the data center to help the software obtain more information.