Scientists have developed an artificial intelligence system that can accurately detect tiny specks of lung cancer in CT scans, which radiologists often have a difficult time identifying. The AI system is about 95 per cent accurate, compared to 65 per cent when done by human eyes, researchers said.
"We used the brain as a model to create our system," said Rodney LaLonde, a doctoral candidate at University of Central Florida in the US.
The approach is similar to the algorithms that facial-recognition software uses. It scans thousands of faces looking for a particular pattern to find its match. The group fed more than 1,000 CT scans into the software they developed to help the computer learn to look for the tumours.
They had to teach the computer different things to help it learn properly. The system was taught to ignore other tissue, nerves and other masses it encountered in the CT scans and analyse lung tissues.
Researchers are fine-tuning the AI's ability to identify cancerous versus benign tumours.