Google DeepMind given access to mammograms of 30,000 women

Mustafa Suleyman, cofounder of DeepMind and head of DeepMind Health. Photographer: Marlene Awaad/Bloomberg

(Sam Shead/ Forbes) — DeepMind has been given access to mammograms from around 30,000 women that were taken at Jikei University Hospital in Tokyo, Japan, between 2007 and 2018.

The AI lab, which was acquired by Google for £400 million in 2014, wants to see if it’s possible to train an algorithm to spot early signs of breast cancer on these X-rays more effectively than current screening techniques allow.

The five-year partnership with Jikei University Hospital — described in English and Japanese on DeepMind’s blog on Thursday — builds on an existing partnership that DeepMind announced with the Cancer Research UK Imperial Centre at Imperial College London last November, which gave DeepMind access to mammograms of 7,500 women.

The company said working with data from partners in multiple countries should help to minimise the chance of bias creeping into its algorithms. AI systems can pick up biases when they’re trained on data that doesn’t represent all the people it’s designed for and DeepMind says it’s a serious problem. (…)

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