Google is putting an artificial intelligence system in charge of its data center cooling after the system proved it could cut energy use.
Now Google and its AI company DeepMind are taking the project further; instead of recommendations being implemented by human staff, the AI system is directly controlling cooling in the data centers that run services including Google Search, Gmail and YouTube.
“This first-of-its-kind cloud-based control system is now safely delivering energy savings in multiple Google data centers,” Google said.
Data centers use vast amount of energy and as the demand for cloud computing rises even small tweaks to areas like cooling can produce significant time and cost savings. Google’s decision to use its own DeepMind-created system is also a good plug for its AI business.
Every five minutes, the AI pulls a snapshot of the data center cooling system from thousands of sensors. This data is fed into deep neural networks, which predict how different choices will affect future energy consumption.
The AI system then identifies tweaks that could reduce energy consumption, which are then sent back to the data center, checked by the local control system and implemented.
Google said giving the AI more responsibility came at the request of its data center operators who said that implementing the recommendations from the AI system required too much effort and supervision.
“We wanted to achieve energy savings with less operator overhead. Automating the system enabled us to implement more granular actions at greater frequency, while making fewer mistakes,” said Google data center operator Dan Fuenffinger.