Breast cancer diagnosis improves with help from artificial intelligence

A newly developed artificial intelligence system is showing promise as a way to help pathologists improve diagnosis of breast cancer from images. In a test at a scientific meeting, it boosted human accuracy from 96 to 99.5 percent.

The artificial intelligence (AI) system is "based on deep learning, a machine-learning algorithm used for a range of applications including speech recognition and image recognition," explains Andrew Beck, an associate professor in pathology at Harvard Medical School, who heads the team developing the new system at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), in Boston, MA.

Prof. Beck and colleagues demonstrated the new AI system in a competition held at the annual meeting of the International Symposium of Biomedical Imaging in Prague in April.