Google Uses Deep Learning to Detect Signs of Breast Cancer

It is evident artificial intelligence can make a big impact on the world of healthcare. Finding new cures and making medical devices smarter will help scientists come up with new cures and better treatments. Google, for example, is looking to deploy AI in the fight against breast cancer. An intriguing concept that can prove to be quite successful over the coming years.

Fighting Breast Cancer With Artificial Intelligence

Throughout the past decades, scientists have made some minor breakthroughs in the fight against cancer. Despite all of this new information, finding a treatment that can save people’s lives rather than merely extend them for a few more years remains rather elusive. With the help of artificial intelligence, Google hopes to make a big impact on breast cancer research in the coming years.

To be more specific, Google has announced they are making significant progress in this regard already. According to a company statement, they have achieved “state-of-the-art” results in using AI to identify breast cancer. That in itself is a significant advancement already, yet it also goes to show the company has only scraped the tip of the iceberg representing possibilities in the medical sector. Google hopes to make a lot more progress in this regard over the coming years.

The technology giant makes use of deep learning to identify breast cancer at an early stage. So far, the company has analyzed thousands of cancer cells slides provided to them by a university in The Netherlands. Computers use deep learning to determine new patterns in huge data sets. For visual tasks, including looking at breast cancer biopsies, this could prove to be quite an advantageous development. Considering how breast cancer is one of the most prominent types of cancer in the US, finding better treatments is a top priority.

Do not be mistaken in thinking this artificial intelligence-based solution can suddenly cure breast cancer. This development only represents a sliver of the complex series of tasks associated with determining whether or not someone has breast cancer. Developing more tools like these will help doctors sort through the data sets at a quicker pace. In turn, this will be beneficial to patients, as they can start treatment quicker.

It is evident humans and computers need to work together when it comes to addressing cancer research. Technology can be an invaluable ally in this process, although it will require a lot of research and development to create working solutions. Deep learning can excel at flagging things the human eye would easily miss. Unfortunately, it can also create false positives, which results in more work for the doctor to go over all of the information multiple times. Engineers have to walk a very fine line to ensure the best of both worlds is combined into new and powerful tools.

For the time being, Google has no plans to commercialize this technology by any means. The technology giant acknowledges their research is showing signs of promise, yet it will remain in research mode for some time to come. It will take a few more years before the first AI-driven algorithms for cancer research become available. Particularly regions where cancer specialists are hard to come by will benefit from technology-driven solutions like these in the future.

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