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The First Frontier for Medical AI Is the Pathology Lab

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The First Frontier for Medical AI Is the Pathology Lab

December 1, 2018

The First Frontier for Medical AI Is the Pathology Lab

Trained on vast troves of digitized slides showing an enormous variety of tumors, artificial-intelligence (AI) systems will likely provide more accurate diagnoses than human pathologists, at least on fairly rote diagnostic tasks. They may even pick up on subtle features that the best-trained human eyes could never see. In this crucial, high-stakes branch of medicine, AI tools may soon offer diagnoses—and treatment recommendations—that are as close to infallible as we’re likely to get in the foreseeable future. And they’ll do so in a matter of seconds.

Lately, dazzlingly high success rates for AI-based systems in recognizing the presence of certain specific illnesses have prompted speculation that such tools will replace doctors. But the developments in pathology show us a more likely outcome: that machines will make the ever-increasing complexity of modern medicine manageable for human beings. This human-machine combination will outperform what either could do individually. At first, the improvement will be small. But eventually, it will be great.

The full IEEE Spectrum article can be viewed at this link.  

 

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