Watson digging deep into cancer

Watson, the IBM deep learning application which took on a chess grandmaster and won, has been used in a number of other scenarios, some a bit gimmicky, seemingly a program looking for a reason to be.

And now it seems a damned good use has been found, analyzing cancer patient history, scanning results, diagnosis and treatments. Some of the initial results were a bit wacky. And over the last few years, doctors have added additional results, pointers, corrections, all enabling Deep Blue to learn a little more, a bit like a child growing up, developing, learning which answers are right and which ones are wrong.

Big data. This is what deep learning excels at. Over time and given sufficient inout, deep learning applications such as Watson can scan through millions of records in a way that no human ever could and spot patterns and trends, giving doctors insights that just wouldn’t have been possible before.

It’s unlikely that Watson would ever replace doctors, but it makes connections they couldn’t and improves treatments by doing so.

More info here.

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