The AI Google trained to catch diabetic blindness exhibited 90 percent accuracy in the lab, but it unfortunately didn’t perform as well in real life. Google tested the AI in 11 clinics in Thailand over the course of eight months, evaluating the feasibility of the technology by using it on willing patients.
In Thailand, it could take up to 10 weeks to confirm diabetic blindness from the time a medical practitioner takes photos of the patient’s eye. The AI was designed to speed the process up with its capability to come up with a result in 10 minutes. However, the team found that the algorithm couldn’t even recognize quite a few of the photos, because it was trained on high-resolution images.