New AI Named DeepGestalt Can Identify Genetic Disorders Just By Looking at Your Face

Wednesday, 09 January 2019 - 2:20PM
Technology
Medical Tech
Artificial Intelligence
Wednesday, 09 January 2019 - 2:20PM
New AI Named DeepGestalt Can Identify Genetic Disorders Just By Looking at Your Face
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Artificial intelligence has already been used to implement facial recognition at airports, leading at least one organization to predict that facial recognition may become the next battlefield for privacy. However, there is a positive side to the technology—a new AI called DeepGestalt has recently shown that it's able to recognize the markers of various genetic disorders in patients' faces, and do an even better job at it than human physicians.

Many genetic diseases, like Angelman syndrome and Noonan syndrome, can manifest their presence in certain facial features, such as widely space teeth or a protruding tongue. DeepGestalt used deep learning to teach itself to recognize these kinds of features in photos of patients and create a list of the most likely disorders. The deep learning process involved 17,000 facial images of patients who had been diagnosed with more than 200 genetic disorders.

When tested against clinicians in an experiment that involved looking at 502 patients' photos, DeepGestalt managed to include the correct disorder in its top ten 'most likely' list 91 percent of the time. The AI also managed to outperform clinicians when it came to identifying subtypes of Noonan syndrome, batting a 64 percent success rating, compared to its human counterparts' historical success rate of 20 percent.

According to Yaron Gurovich, who led the research, the project "demonstrates how one can successfully apply state of the art algorithms, such as deep learning, to a challenging field where the available data is small, unbalanced in terms of available patients per condition, and where the need to support a large amount of conditions is great."

AI is quickly becoming utilized across all kinds of industries, but medicine seems to be the place where it's not only catching on the quickest, but making clear strides toward improving human lives. "This is yet another fantastic potentially life changing application of AI tech," said Professor Peter McOwan of Queen Mary University (who was not involved in the study). "When we see so many negative stories round AI technology it's good to be reminded of the real benefits it can provide to humanity."
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