AI could be useful for more than just developing Siri; it may bring about a new, smarter age of healthcare.
For instance, a team of American researchers used AI to aid detection of autism in babies as young as six months1. This is crucial because the first two years of life see the most neural plasticity when the abnormalities associated with autism haven’t yet fully settled in. This means that earlier intervention is better, especially when many autistic babies are diagnosed at 24 months.
While previous algorithms exist for detecting autism’s development using behavioral data, they have not been effective enough to be clinically useful. This team of researchers sought to improve on these attempts by employing deep learning. Their algorithm successfully predicted diagnoses of autism using MRI data from babies between six and 12 months old. Their system processed images of the babies’ cortical surface area, which grows too rapidly in developing autism. This smarter algorithm predicted autism so well that clinicians may now want to adopt it.
But human ailments aren’t just physical; our minds need medical attention, too. AI may be able to help there as well.
Facebook is beginning to use AI to identify users who may be at risk of suicide, and a startup company just built an AI therapist apparently capable of offering mental health services to anyone with an internet connection.
Source: Machine Design