Artificial Intelligence and Cancer detection
Breast cancer affects way too many. In the US, one in eight women will develop it in their lifetimes. But encouraging new research shows that artificial intelligence can help with early detection.
An AI system developed by Google Health, Google-owned DeepMind, and several medical centers is so good at detecting breast cancer that it can outperform actual doctors according to a paper published this week in the journal Nature. The AI analyzes mammograms to determine whether the disease is present.
Researchers found that the AI system reduced false positives by 5.7 percent for US women a significant improvement, when you consider how distressing it would be to be told you have cancer when you actually do not. It also reduced false negatives by 9.4 percent, meaning it caught instances of cancer that would ve otherwise gone undetected.
And it did this by looking at mammograms alone, without access to any of the other health data that human doctors have on their patients.
This does not mean AI will soon replace radiologists that’s a common but false narrative. While AI systems catch things that doctors miss, doctors also catch things that AI systems miss. Their abilities are complementary, best used together. It’s the latest example of how AI is changing medicine in ways that can improve diagnostics and triage. It may not be long before AI yields tangible benefits for your health.