Google just achieved a breakthrough in its efforts to use AI for medical purposes, beating humans at diagnosing breast cancer.
According to a blog post on the company’s site, Google worked with Deep Mind, Northwestern University, Cancer Research UK Imperial Centre and Royal Surrey County Hospital to see if AI could improve the odds of an accurate diagnoses.
The researchers used a de-identified pool of mammograms from over 76,000 women in the U.K. and more than 15,000 women from the U.S. to help train the AI, before having it analyze another set of mammograms from 25,000 U.K. women and 3,000 U.S. women.
“In this evaluation, our system produced a 5.7 percent reduction of false positives in the U.S, and a 1.2 percent reduction in the U.K,” according to the post. “It produced a 9.4 percent reduction in false negatives in the U.S., and a 2.7 percent reduction in the U.K.
“We also wanted to see if the model could generalize to other healthcare systems. To do this, we trained the model only on the data from the women in the U.K. and then evaluated it on the data set from women in the U.S. In this separate experiment, there was a 3.5 percent reduction in false positives and an 8.1 percent reduction in false negatives, showing the model’s potential to generalize to new clinical settings while still performing at a higher level than experts.”
While AI still has a long way to go before it replaces doctors, this is a significant step toward AI having a prominent role in the medical community.