Where can Britain be a global leader after it leaves the European Union? For all the doubt regarding the UK’s future trading relationship with Europe and the rest of the sphere, it’s a brave gambler who gambles on Britain’s traditional strengths in services and production.
Medicine, on the other hand, makes a much improved post-Brexit bet. The UK has one of the world’s most illustrious records of medical innovation, from the leading modern vaccinations to the CT scanner, from the discovery of insulin to pioneering IVF. Associated to this medical pedigree is Britain’s strong position at the front of artificial intelligence (AI), a fact acknowledged by the UK government’s chief investment in a new national AI laboratory.
Medicine is one of the most exciting frontlines for new technologies such as AI, with the segment accounting for the third-largest number of patent applications in 2019. But where is AI set to make a real alteration to medicine in the coming years?
Better diagnoses through data
Few industries are as information intensive as medicine. Medical data comes in many arrangements: images, audio, video, unstructured text and structured data. All this data suffers from the traditional problems known by other industries: missing information, corrupt values, doubtful outliers, lack of labelling, typographic mistakes and more.
As medical databases grow, cleaning and labelling information is becoming ever more critical. While we are some way from cracking this challenge, we are seeing vital progress with the likes of Holoclean and Snorkel. The previous is an open source, machine learning-based system for automatic error recognitions and repair which has been used effectively in several medical applications, counting in hospitals.