Google’s artificial intelligence can actually help the environment

With the push of a button this spring — Google was instantly using 40% less energy to cool a handful of its data centers. The achievement, which Google hails as a major breakthrough, points to how artificial intelligence can be used to make data centers, power plants, energy grids and manufacturing plants more efficient. As these huge, energy-intensive operations use power more efficiently, fewer greenhouse gases are emitted. “We’re really thrilled about the environmental impact,” said Mustafa Suleyman, who leads applied AI at Google DeepMind, a group of London researchers behind the project. DeepMind has leapt to prominence by building computer systems capable of mastering everything from Atari games to the board game Go. It’s also exploring way to detect diseases earlier by analyzing medical data. To achieve the 40%…

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