Aug 25, 2021

AI Makes Strangely Accurate Predictions From Blurry Medical Scans, Alarming Researchers

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, information science, robotics/AI

New research has found that artificial intelligence (AI) analyzing medical scans can identify the race of patients with an astonishing degree of accuracy, while their human counterparts cannot. With the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approving more algorithms for medical use, the researchers are concerned that AI could end up perpetuating racial biases. They are especially concerned that they could not figure out precisely how the machine-learning models were able to identify race, even from heavily corrupted and low-resolution images.

In the study, published on pre-print service Arxiv, an international team of doctors investigated how deep learning models can detect race from medical images. Using private and public chest scans and self-reported data on race and ethnicity, they first assessed how accurate the algorithms were, before investigating the mechanism.

“We hypothesized that if the model was able to identify a patient’s race, this would suggest the models had implicitly learned to recognize racial information despite not being directly trained for that task,” the team wrote in their research.

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