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AI Proves Better at Diagnosing Breast Cancer Than Human Specialists

According to a new study, Google’s artificial intelligence technology can spot signs of breast cancer in women with more accuracy than experts. Regular screening is very important in detecting the earliest signs of the disease in patients who show no obvious symptoms.

The study published on 1st January in the scientific journal Nature discovered that by using A.I. technology, there was a reduction in false positives and false negatives when it came to diagnosing forms of breast cancer. Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women, with more than two million new diagnoses last year alone.

In the UK, all women over the age of 50 are advised to get a routine breast check-called a mammogram, which involves X-raying breasts every three years. This can pick up on signs of cancer long before a noticeable lump appears.

A.I. technology was used to look the mammograms from more than 15,000 women in the United States, and over 76,000 women in the United Kingdom. The program was able to reduce false positive by 5.7 percent for women in the U.S., and 1.2 percent for those in the U.K. False negatives were reduced 9.4 percent in the U.S. and by 2.7 percent in the U.K.

The researchers point out that instead of simply replacing the opinions of medical professionals, the AI could help to reduce the workload of already busy doctors. Where two experts normally examine the results of a mammogram, a single doctor could and then compare their conclusion to that of the AI. If the two disagree, a second doctor could be brought in to examine the scan. The team believes this would reduce the workload of the second doctor by as much as 88 percent.

According to the American Cancer Society, the use of A.I. technology to better detect screenings could be groundbreaking, considering that one in eight U.S. women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. “The earlier you identify breast cancer, the better it is for the patient,” Mr. Dominic King, British lead at Google Health, said.

The ultimate goal for the data is to identify different species of animals faster. According to the blog, human experts can look through 300 to about 1,000 images per hour, but Google’s A.I. technology can analyze 3.6 million photos an hour and automatically classify an animal.

Google’s A.I. technology is also being applied for identifying different species of animals in a new wildlife conservation program that aims to better protect and monitor animals throughout the world.

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