Google has finally revealed a commercial use for DeepMind – a British artificial intelligence company it acquired for over $600 million in 2014.
Google announced on Wednesday that it has been using a DeepMind-built AI system to control certain parts of its power-hungry data centers over the last few months as it looks to make its vast server farms more environmentally friendly.
Last year, a Greenpeace report predicted that the electricity consumption of data centers is set to account for 12% of global electricity consumption by 2017 and companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple have some of the biggest data centers in the world.
Google said it has been able to reduce the energy consumption of its data center cooling units – used to stop Google’s self-built servers from overheating – by as much as 40% with the help of a DeepMind AI system.
Google DeepMind research engineer Rich Evans and Google data center engineer Jim Gao hailed the breakthrough as “a phenomenal step forward” in a blog post they cowrote announcing the news.
DeepMind CEO and cofounder Demis Hassabis told Bloomberg at an AI conference in New York that DeepMind could provide Google with “Huge saving in terms of cost” adding that a reduction in energy consumption is “Great for the environment.”
Google said it also plans to use DeepMind’s AI across other parts of its data center infrastructure, not just cooling.