Google's DeepMind is helping the company save money on its electricity bill

google data center
Google
Google has been doing all kinds of cool things with its DeepMind artificial intelligence software since it acquired the technology in 2014. It successfully taught itself to play soccer and Atari, and is currently in use to study how AI can be used to detect eye diseases. But Google has a new project for DeepMind closer to home: saving on Google’s electric bills.

The AI software is managing Google’s data centers, and much like learning the benefits of different moves to get the highest score in an Atari game, DeepMind is changing how data equipment center runs to get a different type of high score: the least power consumption overall. The software controls about 120 different variables.

More efficient use of computing resources has resulted in a several-percentage-point decrease in power usage at Google’s vast data centers, Google told Bloomberg News.

Google added that there was about a 15 percent increase in power usage efficiency, a metric that Google uses to measure how much power it’s using for servers versus the amount of power it’s using for supporting infrastructure to keep those servers running, like cooling systems. It also expects DeepMind to get better with time, meaning the system soon could be even more efficient.

Given that 4.4 million megawatt-hours of power was used in 2014 alone according to the company, power efficiency is a big deal. Much of this power usage is from Google’s data centers, so putting DeepMind to work on more efficient power use offers immediate benefits.

The average cost per megawatt hour can range anywhere from $25 to $40, Google stands to save hundreds of millions of dollars with just a 10 percent reduction in power usage. Should DeepMind be able to even double its current power usage reductions, these savings will be measured in the billions of dollars. Google expects that to happen as it improve the AI software over time.

Product Review

No longer the underdog, the Audi Q3 is all grown up and ready to dominate

The Audi Q3 is back for a second generation and it’s better than ever before. It looks sharper, it packs more power, and it offers a longer list of tech features. We put it to the test to find out how it fares against the competition.
Computing

Google tells lawmakers it allows other apps access to your Gmail

Google admitted to lawmakers in a letter that its privacy policy allows third-party apps access to the email messages of its 1.4 billion Gmail users. Google says the apps need the consent of users before access is granted.
Virtual Reality

Walmart stocks its stores with VR training for its employees

Walmart will begin rolling out virtual reality training experiences to all of its stores this year with the power of Oculus Go. More than 6,300 stores will receive the new technology, helping the company train its employees.
Mobile

Here's the Samsung Galaxy S9's new Android 9.0 Pie interface

The Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus are here. The flagship devices boast some awesome new features and a powerful new processor. Here's everything you need to know about these Samsung phones.
Computing

What to expect from Microsoft’s October 2 Surface event

The October 2 Surface event is just around the corner. Let's take a look at everything Microsoft could unveil at the event, including major announcement for new Surface products, unique accessories, and long-sought Windows 10 features.
Computing

MacOS Mojave has landed. Here are the five best features of the update

Apple's new version of MacOS is finally here and can be installed on your Mac today. Why should you upgrade? Well, there's a lot more to the update than just Dark Mode. Here are the five features you need to know about.
Computing

MacOS Mojave launches on September 24. Here's what we like about it so far

Mojave is the latest version of MacOS, and it's out now. Chock-full of quality-of-life upgrades, we took it for a test drive to get a sneak peek at what you can expect from the next major update to MacOS.
Computing

How to enable dark mode in MacOS Mojave

Learn how to enable dark mode in MacOS Mojave! As Mac's latest update gears up to hit all Mac systems later this year, the public beta for Mojave is nearly open for you to test out the latest features. One of the most in-demand changes is…
Computing

Critical MacOS Mojave vulnerability bypasses system security

Security Researcher Patrick Wardle has discovered a critical MacOS Mojave security flaw that could potentially allow malicious applications to bypass Mac's system security controls.
Emerging Tech

Microsoft and Shell build A.I. into gas stations to help spot smokers

Shell and Microsoft have created a system for gas stations that can spot someone who's smoking or about to smoke. The platform uses multiple cameras, local computing power, and Microsoft's cloud intelligence system to do the job.
Computing

If your data is found on the dark web, Firefox Monitor will let you know

Firefox is finally launching its Firefox Monitor service and you don't have to use the Firefox browser to access it. Monitor scans the dark web to see if your email address has been leaked as part of a past data breach.
Computing

Chrome OS update could make switching to tablet mode far easier

Google is working on an update for Chrome OS that would make its browser-based operating system much easier to operate in tablet mode, even with the new, streamlined user interface.
Emerging Tech

Teaching machines to see illusions may help computer vision get smarter

Researchers are teaching computers to see optical illusions. The reason? To create smarter, more brain-like vision recognition algorithms for everything from robots to autonomous cars.
Computing

How many GPU video ports is too many? The Aorus RTX 2080 packs seven

Aorus' new RTX 2080 graphics card wants to turn up the new-generation GPUs to 11 with greater cooling, RGB lighting, and a whole host of video port options that give anyone more than they'll likely ever need.