Google’s artificial intelligence subsidiary, DeepMind, which was acquired in 2014 is teaming up with the National Health Service (NHS) in a project they hope will predict blindness before it occurs so they can prevent it.

DeepMind is an artificial intelligence system that uses different algorithms to help machines learn from data that is inputted. Google wants to use DeepMind to look at more than 1 million eye scans gathered by the Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. The hope is that DeepMind will be able to use its algorithms to analyze these scans and develop the ability to predict blindness that is caused by diabetes or age-related macular degeneration earlier than humans would be able to.

Eye scans are extremely complex and even very experienced professionals require a lot of time to analyze them and even then they are not always able to detect disease that could lead to blindness. What DeepMind can do that humans can’t is analyze massive amounts of data quickly. It can recognize patterns much more easily than humans and may be able to detect disease long before a human would be able to.

Though doctors have already experimented with using various computer analysis tools, none have been able to analyze the scans fully and have not been as accurate as humans. DeepMind is far more advanced than these other computer systems. If DeepMind can be as accurate and as fast as hoped, it would mean a world of difference for those who are developing diabetes related eye problems or macular degeneration. These conditions would be spotted early enough and in such a quick manner that patients could get prompt treatment to prevent blindness. This is yet another way that artificial intelligence can help out humans.

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