The AI doctor will see you now

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A lightbox showing a mammogram xray

Advances in neural networks and other techniques promise to transform health care while raising profound questions about our bodies and society.

AI software can identify early signs of breast cancer long before the disease can be diagnosed by conventional means.

When MIT professor Regina Barzilay received her breast cancer diagnosis, she turned it into a science project. Learning that the disease could have been detected earlier if doctors had recognized the signs on previous mammograms, Barzilay, an expert in artificial intelligence, used a collection of 90,000 breast x-rays to create software for predicting a patient’s cancer risk.

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