Google Says Its AI Sometimes Outperforms Human Doctors In Detecting Cancer

Which is better at detecting breast cancer: Google's artificial intelligence system or human doctors?

Benzinga · 01/02/2020 19:05

Which is better at detecting breast cancer: Google's artificial intelligence system or human doctors?

According to the Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) unit, it can match or outperform radiologists, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

Google's AI Data 

Google's health unit is backed by a team of global researchers and created an AI platform that was able to catch breast cancer readings that were first missed by doctors, according to WSJ.

The AI platform was also able to reduce false-positive readings for patients who didn't have cancer.

The data was first published Wednesday in the journal Nature and was based on data from thousands of mammograms in the U.S. and U.K.

Some cases of breast cancer were missed by Google's AI and caught by human doctors; the discrepancy is unclear. 

Nevertheless, Google is optimistic and said it can play a role in the space.

"There's enormous opportunity, not just in breast cancer but more widely, to use this type of technology to make screening more equitable and more accurate," said Dominic King, the U.K. lead at Google Health, according to WSJ.

"It feels like this is another step towards this technology actually making a difference in the real world."

The Importance Of Breast Cancer Detection

Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths, and approximately one out of eight women in the U.S. are likely to develop some form of breast cancer, according to WSJ. Early detection and treatment are vital to saving lives.

Google believes its system best complements radiologists in improving breast cancer detection and mammogram readings. The company is in talks with health systems and research groups to see how it can best implement its system into the real clinical world, the publication said. 

Class A Alphabet shares were trading 1.63% higher at $1,361.25 at the time of publication Thursday. 

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