A neural network can help spot Covid-19 in chest x-rays

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COVID-Net could help scientists develop an AI tool that can pick up telltale signs.

The news: An open-access neural network called COVID-Net, released to the public this week, could help researchers around the world in a joint effort to develop an AI tool that can test people for Covid-19.

What is it? COVID-Net is a convolutional neural network, a type of AI that is particularly good at recognizing images. Developed by Linda Wang and Alexander Wong at the University of Waterloo and the AI firm DarwinAI in Canada, COVID-Net was trained to identify signs of Covid-19 in chest x-rays using 5,941 images taken from 2,839 patients with various lung conditions, including bacterial infections, non-Covid viral infections, and Covid-19. The data set is being provided alongside the tool so that researchers—or anyone who wants to tinker—can explore and tweak it.

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