Can Artificial Intelligence Help See Cancer in New, and Better, Ways?

Two identical black and white pictures of murky shapes sit side-by-side on a computer screen. On the left side, Ismail Baris Turkbey, M.D., a radiologist with 15 years of experience, has outlined an area where the fuzzy shapes represent what he believes is a creeping, growing prostate cancer. On the other side of the screen, an artificial intelligence (AI) computer program has done the same—and the results are nearly identical.

The black and white image is an MRI scan from someone with prostate cancer, and the AI program has analyzed thousands of them.

“The [AI] model finds the prostate and outlines cancer-suspicious areas without any human supervision,” Dr. Turkbey explains. His hope is that the AI will help less experienced radiologists find prostate cancer when it’s present and dismiss anything that may be mistaken for cancer.

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