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Google in collaboration with DeepMind is giving the control of cooling several of its data centers completely to an AI algorithm.

Since 2016, they have been using an AI-powered recommendation system (developed by Google and DeepMind) to improve the energy efficiency of Google’s data centers. This system made recommendations to data center managers, leading to energy savings of around 40 percent in those cooling systems.

Now, Google is completely handing the control over to cloud-based AI systems.


How Google’s safety-first AI system works

Google’s previous AI engine required too much operator effort and supervision to implement the recommendations. So they explored a new system that could give similar energy savings without manual implementation. Here’s how the algorithm does it.

  1. A large number of sensors are embedded in the cooling center. The cloud-based AI system monitors the data centers and every five minutes pulls a snapshot of the data center.
  2. It then feeds this snapshot into deep neural networks, which predict how different combinations of potential actions will affect future energy consumption.
  3. The AI system then identifies which actions will minimize the energy consumption while satisfying safety constraints.
  4. Those actions are sent back to the data center, where the actions are verified by the local control system and then implemented.

To ensure safety and reliability, the system uses eight different mechanisms to ensure it behaves as intended at all times and improve energy savings. The system is already delivering consistent energy savings of around 30 percent on average, with further expected improvements.

Eight mechanisms Google

Source: DeepMind Blog

In the long term, Google wants to apply this technology in other industrial settings, and help tackle climate change on an even grander scale.

You can read more about their Safety-first AI on DeepMind’s Blog.

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