According to The Australian Financial Review, when it comes to diagnosing serious health issues, computers are beginning to outpace human experts. A new study by Google and several medical centres has found the machines are as good as, or better than, doctors at detecting tiny lung cancers on CT scans.
The technology is a work in progress and is not ready for widespread use, but the report, which was published on Monday in the journal Nature Medicine, offers a glimpse of how artificial intelligence will be used in medicine.
One of the most promising areas is recognising patterns and interpreting images – the same skills humans use to read microscope slides, X-rays, MRIs and other medical scans.
By feeding huge amounts of data from medical imaging into systems called artificial neural networks, researchers can train computers to recognise patterns linked to a specific condition, like pneumonia, cancer or a wrist fracture that would be hard for a person to see. The system follows an algorithm, or set of instructions, and learns as it goes. The more data it receives, the better it becomes at interpretation.
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