September 23rd, 2016 by

In our category “good tech”, we applaud the news that DeepMind began applying its advanced AI to Google’s data centers, in order to find ways to reduce the company’s sizeable energy bill.

Two years ago, Google spent over half a billion dollars for the London-based artificial intelligence startup DeepMind. Since then, the unit became an Atari gaming pro player and showed the world it could beat an impossible board game.

All very impressive stuff, if it wasn’t the unit has yet to spell actual revenue.

Google started using machine learning for its data centers two years ago, searching for ways to reduce costs for one of the company’s top expenses.

In recent months, the Alphabet Inc. unit put a DeepMind AI system in control of parts of its data centers to reduce power consumption by manipulating computer servers and related equipment like cooling systems. The savings translate into a 15 percent improvement in power usage efficiency.

It didn’t offer a dollar figure for that, but it’s safe to assume that it means hundreds of millions in savings over the long haul.

Google’s server farms are spread across 14 locations on four different continents. All our searches and YouTube loops demand a considerable energy footprint. Last year, Google said it was 37 percent of the way toward its stated goal of 100 percent renewable energy reliance by 2025.

Featured image source: Google/Connie Zhou – a central cooling plant in Google’s Douglas County, Georgia.

Author: Gerd Leonhard

In the words of American poet John Berryman, “the possibility that has been overlooked is the future”. Most of us are far too busy coping with present challenges to explore the future in any depth – and when we do our own cravings and fears often run away with us, resulting in utopias or dystopias that are not very helpful in terms of planning and decisions. Today’s professionals, leaders and their organisations need a dedicated, passionate long-term understanding of the future if they are to successfully navigate the exponential waves of change. For countless individuals and organizations that intelligence is called Gerd Leonhard.

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