Automation and anxiety

SITTING IN AN office in San Francisco, Igor Barani calls up some medical scans on his screen. He is the chief executive of Enlitic, one of a host of startups applying deep learning to medicine, starting with the analysis of images such as X-rays and CT scans. It is an obvious use of the technology. Deep learning is renowned for its superhuman prowess at certain forms of image recognition; there are large sets of labelled training data to crunch; and there is tremendous potential to make health care more accurate and efficient. Dr Barani (who used to be an oncologist) points to some CT scans of a patient’s lungs, taken from three different angles. Red blobs flicker on the screen as Enlitic’s deep-learning system examines and compares them to see…


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