Categorized | Melanoma News, Of Interest

AI is better at diagnosing skin cancer than even some of the best human experts

Source: ZME Science, June 2018

An international team of researchers has shown for the first time that artificial intelligence is better at diagnosing melanoma than human doctors. This particular form of machine learning, known as a deep learning convolutional neural network (CNN), was able to make more correct diagnoses and fewer misdiagnoses than some of the world’s most capable skin care oncologists.

Man vs machine

The CNN starts off as a blank slate. In order to teach the artificial neural network how to identify skin cancer, the researchers fed it a dataset of over 100,000 images of malignant melanomas and benign moles. With each iteration, it learned patterns of features characteristic of malignant and benign tumors, becoming increasingly better at differentiating between the two.

After this initial training round, the team of researchers led by Professor Holger Haenssle, senior managing physician at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, introduced the AI to two new sets of images sourced from the Heidelberg library. These dermoscopic images of various skin lesions were completely new to the CNN. One set of 300 images was meant to solely test the performance of the CNN. Another set of 100 images was comprised of some of the most difficult to diagnose lesions and was used to test both machine and real dermatologists.

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