Detecting skin cancer with computer vision

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Image: IBM

When the term Artificial intelligence get hurled around, images are immediately conjured of fire-spewing killer robots playing chess against a post-apocalyptic backdrop. And when they arent busy terminating, theyre swamped winning millions of dollars on a certain trivia-based game show.

Yeah, cinema isnt too friendly to the kind of high-level technology thats inducing waves across the world. However, fiction is no reason to discount the astounding advantages technologically advanced computer systems are inducing in the world of healthcare.

Enter Watson, IBMs next generation technology that can understand natural language, reason with confidence and learn lessons from its mistakes.

Inherent game show skills aside, IBM are exploring whether Watson could be used to help clinicians save lives through develop a better understanding the signs and symptoms of early stage melanoma, and they need you( yes, you) to help Watson get smarter.

Get to know Watson

Watson is a truly fascinating creation that literally discovers by reading. It was first developed in IBM’s DeepQA project by a human named David Ferrucci and takes its name from IBM’s first CEO, Thomas J. Watson. Its been dubbed the smartest machine on earth and uses proof, analysis and reason to come to its conclusions.

So, heres how it runs: Researchers use the technology underpinning Watson image analytics and machine learning technology to build algorithms based on images and the clinical data associated.

These images have been labelled with clinical knowledge such as cancerous vs benign, melanoma vs basal cell carcinoma or even the different stages of cancer. Over hour, Watson learns what constitutes a normal skin lesion such as a mole and how to identify structural indicators such as shape or colour which may indicate a cancerous lesion.

So far, the success rate is 91 percent. Pretty impressive for something without a pulse.

A day at the beach

Because early detection is critical in thumping melanoma, IBM are taking huge steps to keep people remain safe.

This month, IBM of cooperating with Melanoma Institute Australia and Molemap joined more than 800 beachgoers on Bondi Beach for free skin checks, with the anonymised data( collected via IBM Watson smart reflect interactions and MoleMap clinician skin checks) contributing to help progress research in the early detection of melanoma.

Of the beachgoers that received the free skin checks, 70 had scalped lesions such as moles imaged and were referred to dermatologists for review.

Let Watson get to know you, too

So, how can you put yourself in the narrative and help this computer discover? Talk to Watson and get to know it and the team behind it. You wont need to learn a new language, cross any wires or beat anyone at chess all youll need is a keyboard.

Take to social media and share your skin cancer narrative with the hashtag #outthinkmelanoma to add to the conversation.

Its time to outthink melanoma with a little help from our( metal) friends and tell hasta la vista to skin cancer.

Read more here: http :// mashable.com /