Latest in Science

Image credit:

IBM's Watson AI saved a woman from leukemia

It discovered a rare illness that doctors had missed.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
August 7, 2016
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Andrew Spear for The Washington Post via Getty Images

IBM's Watson has done everything from winning at Jeopardy to cooking exotic meals, but it appears to have accomplished its greatest feat yet: saving a life. University of Tokyo doctors report that the artificial intelligence diagnosed a 60-year-old woman's rare form of leukemia that had been incorrectly identified months earlier. The analytical machine took just 10 minutes to compare the patient's genetic changes with a database of 20 million cancer research papers, delivering an accurate diagnosis and leading to proper treatment that had proven elusive. Watson has also identified another rare form of leukemia in another patient, the university says.

It'll likely take a long while before Watson and other AI systems are regularly providing advice at hospitals, and it won't be all that useful in situations without readily comparable data. We've asked the school for more details of what happened. However, the diagnoses show just how useful the technology could be in the medical world. Human doctors wouldn't have to spend ages sifting through research to identify an obscure disease, or hope that another hospital can offer insights -- they'd just plug in the right data and start the healing process.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

‘Cyberpunk 2077’ update introduced a game-breaking bug

‘Cyberpunk 2077’ update introduced a game-breaking bug

View
A personal trainer app guilt-tripped me into exercising (and it worked)

A personal trainer app guilt-tripped me into exercising (and it worked)

View
Instagram adds ‘professional dashboard’ for businesses and creators

Instagram adds ‘professional dashboard’ for businesses and creators

View
Apple shuffles hardware execs to make room for a mysterious new project

Apple shuffles hardware execs to make room for a mysterious new project

View
Huawei may spin off its P and Mate smartphone brands

Huawei may spin off its P and Mate smartphone brands

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr