New York: US tech giant Google has announced that using artificial intelligence to identify breast cancer has borne fruitful results.
Google used a flavour of Artificial Intelligence called deep learning to analyse thousands of slides of cancer cells provided by a Dutch university.
According to CNN, deep learning is where computers are taught to recognise patterns in huge data sets. It’s very useful for visual tasks, such as looking at a breast cancer biopsy.
With 2,30,000 new cases of breast cancer every year in the United States, Google (GOOGLE, Tech30) hopes its technology will help pathologists better treat patients. The technology isn’t designed to, or capable of, replacing human doctors.
“What we’ve trained is just a little sliver of software that helps with one part of a very complex series of tasks. There will hopefully be more and more of these tools that help doctors [who] have to go through an enormous amount of information all the time,” CNN quoted Lily Peng, the project manager behind Google’s work as saying.
The technology will be especially useful in parts of the world where there’s a shortage of physicians.
For patients who don’t have access to a pathologist, an algorithm — even if imperfect would be a meaningful improvement.
Van der Laak highlighted India and China as two underserved areas.