Artificial Intelligence: MIT Researcher Develops Mirai – An AI To Accurately Predict Breast Cancer

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MIT AI expert Regina Barzilay was inspired for the project after herself suffering from breast cancer.

Regina Barzilay, an AI expert at MIT and a breast cancer patient, decided to bring her skills in an AI specialty known as natural language processing to the prediction of cancer. Along with a student protege and a Mass General doctor, she built Mirai – an AI that can predict with unprecedented accuracy the chances of a healthy person developing breast cancer. (Washington Post)

Mirai uses mammograms to predict breast cancer

Mirai AI analyzes a mammogram – pixel by pixel – and then checks it out against its repository of thousands of older mammograms. The AI can then predict about half of all breast cancer cases up to five years before they happen.

Though the AI is yet to be validated through trials, Barzilay’s research holds huge promise. Its advance predictive ability can help patients make informed choices about their lifestyle and treatment options. Ultimately, many people’s lives could be saved.

How they did it

Barzilay and team fed more than 200,000 Mass General mammograms of patients who ultimately developed breast cancer (and also those who luckily did not) into Mirai to train the algorithm.

Mirai would progressively make a prediction from a scanned mammogram based on the amount of data it had analyzed.

The prediction would be compared with the actual result and the algorithm adjusted for the deviation. Mirai then became proficient at ascertaining, from a given mammogram, whether breast cancer could be lurking in the patient’s future.

The trained Mirai was then unleashed on a huge sample of mammograms drawn from five different countries and from the period 2008 to 2016. The 129,000 mammograms covered 62,000 patients.

Mirai’s predictions from the study were correct in an average of about 76 out of 100 cases, a huge improvement over the currently used, statistical model known as Tyrer-Cuzick, which usually predicts breast cancer in just 20 to 25% of people who ultimately are diagnosed with it.

Dorraya El-Ashry, chief scientific officer for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which provided funding for the research, said Mirai was a positive step forward and very encouraging.

Mirai will soon be tested in the real world at the Mexican hospital network Grupo Angeles and Novant Health, the massive southeastern U.S. health-care system at its flagship hospital in Winston-Salem, N.C.

P.S. – Recently, Mirai assessed Barzilay as “high-risk” when she fed it her old mammogram.

Related Story: FDA Grants Breakthrough Device Designation To Israeli Startup Ibex’s AI-Powered Galen Platform For Cancer Detection

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