& cplSiteName &

Google Using AI to Control Data Center Cooling

Brian Santo
7/20/2016
50%
50%

After testing its DeepMind learning systems to manage the cooling equipment in some of its data centers, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) said it intends to turn control of all its data center cooling systems to DeepMind.

Google told Bloomberg that using DeepMind led to a 15% improvement in data center power use efficiency. Google did not provide a dollar figure, but spread across the company's vast data center operations, the potential energy savings could run into millions upon millions of dollars.

At least as important as the energy savings -- and probably more so -- Google will gain experience with artificial intelligence (AI) that it will inevitably be able to use in other applications in the industrial, enterprise and commercial markets.

People have been extrapolating about machine intelligence for decades, from even before Isaac Asimov formulated his Three Laws of Robotics and Alan Turing proposed the Turing Test. The question they all seem to anticipate is: Where does AI end and humanity begin? Scarlett Johansson and Alicia Vikander might be more interesting than HVAC, but you have to start somewhere before you can get to Her or Ex Machina.

The equipment in data centers generates immense amounts of heat, but equipment usage and the heat subsequently generated fluctuates, often with minute-by-minute changes. DeepMind learns these patterns and responds appropriately. DeepMind co-founder Demis Hassabis told Bloomberg the system takes into account as many as 120 variables (cooling systems, fans, windows, etc.) and adjusts. It can even identify what information it lacks and advise data center operators what sensors should be added.

Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple are all pouring resources into AI. While there are any number of potential system-control applications, one goal is in fact getting to something closer to the Samantha AI in Her -- expanding on limited systems such as Siri or Cortana to create personalized software agents that can exercise increasing amounts of autonomy as they act on behalf of users.

Creating semi-autonomous agents would rely heavily on cloud computing -- in other words, data centers. For data center operators like Google, employing DeepMind to run portions of its data centers is an element of a virtual circle of AI, big data and cloud services.

On the other hand, this may also get us one step closer to SkyNet.

Google bought DeepMind in 2014.

— Brian Santo, Senior Editor, Components, T&M, Light Reading

(4)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
inkstainedwretch
50%
50%
inkstainedwretch,
User Rank: Light Sabre
10/18/2016 | 12:51:49 PM
Re: AI
My favorite exchange I've had with Siri?

Me: Open the pod bay doors, Siri.

Siri: I'm sorry, I don't do pod bay doors.

-- Brian Santo
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
7/21/2016 | 9:09:20 PM
Re: AI
inkstainedwretch
50%
50%
inkstainedwretch,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/21/2016 | 12:17:41 PM
Re: AI
Where does autonomy end and free will begin? The joke is that maybe there's a computer somewhere that has free will, it just hasn't deigned to mention it to us yet.

-- Brian Santo
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
7/21/2016 | 11:58:55 AM
AI
Samantha from "Her" had free will. It doesn't make any sense to program an AI with free will. You don't want your data center cooling system deciding it's bored and unfulfilled cooling data centers, and studying romantic poetry instead. 
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading founder Steve Saunders grills Cisco's Roland Acra on how he's bringing automation to life inside the data center.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
March 20-22, 2018, Denver Marriott Tech Center
April 4, 2018, The Westin Dallas Downtown, Dallas
May 14-17, 2018, Austin Convention Center
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
SmartNICs aren't just about achieving scale. They also have a major impact in reducing CAPEX and OPEX requirements.
Hot Topics
Here's Pai in Your Eye
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 12/11/2017
Ericsson & Samsung to Supply Verizon With Fixed 5G Gear
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 12/11/2017
The Anatomy of Automation: Q&A With Cisco's Roland Acra
Steve Saunders, Founder, Light Reading, 12/7/2017
You Can't Fix OTT Streaming Problems If You Can't See Them
Mike Hollyman, Head of Consulting Engineering, Nokia Deepfield, 12/8/2017
Eurobites: Ericsson Restates Its Financials, Warns of Impairment Charges
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 12/8/2017
Animals with Phones
Don't Fall Asleep on the Job! Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed