Google’s DeepMind will soon apply artificial intelligence to the detection of eye diseases

DeepMind, the London-based artificial intelligence lab acquired by Google in 2014, has accomplished more than a few spectacular stunts of machine learning. Its neural networks bested a human champion at the notoriously tough game of Go, inculcated the basic rules of soccer on a digital ant-like creature, and teased out winning strategies for more than 49 Atari 2600 games. But now, the outfit’s robots are being tasked with a more humanistic pursuit: eye disease research. On Tuesday, DeepMind announced a long-term project that will see the company’s machine-learning algorithms parse “millions” of eye scans to tease out early warning signs that human doctors might otherwise miss. The new project, which is based out of the U.K.’s Moorfields Eye Hospital in east London, is the fruit of DeepMind’s ongoing partnership — dubbed DeepMind Health — with the country’s National Health Service. In February, the firm launched Streams,…


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