& 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 is spending much of this year digging into the details of how automation technology will impact the comms market, but let's take a moment to also look at how automation is set to overturn the current world order by the middle of the century.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue – London
November 10, 2017, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
November 16, 2017, ExCel Centre, London
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
May 14-17, 2018, Austin Convention Center
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Muni Policies Stymie Edge Computing
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/17/2017
'Brutal' Automation & the Looming Workforce Cull
Iain Morris, News Editor, 10/18/2017
Worried About Bandwidth for 4K? Here Comes 8K!
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 10/17/2017
What Does Automation Mean to You?
Ray Le Maistre, International Group Editor, 10/17/2017
Animals with Phones
Sometimes Typing Doesn't Do the Trick... Click Here
... and you just have to yell at the screen.
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
Partner Perspectives - content from our sponsors
The Mobile Broadband Road Ahead
By Kevin Taylor, for Huawei
All Partner Perspectives