Google uses AI to help diagnose breast cancer

Mar 8, 2017

By Matt McFarland

Google announced Friday that it has achieved state-of-the-art results in using artificial intelligence to identify breast cancer. The findings are a reminder of the rapid advances in artificial intelligence, and its potential to improve global health.

Google used a flavor of artificial intelligence called deep learning to analyze thousands of slides of cancer cells provided by a Dutch university. Deep learning is where computers are taught to recognize patterns in huge data sets. It’s very useful for visual tasks, such as looking at a breast cancer biopsy.

With 230,000 new cases of breast cancer every year in the United States, Google (GOOGL, Tech30) hopes its technology will help pathologists better treat patients. The technology isn’t designed to, or capable of, replacing human doctors.

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