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Pentagon picks Google Cloud for AI-assisted cancer diagnoses

Pentagon picks Google Cloud for AI-assisted cancer diagnoses
The Defense Innovation Unit will partner with Google Cloud to develop artificial software for microscopes used in cancer detection, the company announced on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Google Cloud

Sept. 2 (UPI) -- The Defense Innovation Unit has chosen Google Cloud to develop artificial intelligence solutions for cancer screenings, the company announced on Wednesday.

The collaboration with Google Cloud will begin with delivery of augmented reality microscopes with access to artificial intelligence models for use in early cancer detection screening, according to Google.

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The pilot program will allow a better view of potentially cancerous tissue samples, for example, with additional data projected on areas requiring closer examination.

An algorithm will assist in comparing the sample to others in the Defense Department's cancer imagery database.

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"What it's trying to do is help the pathologist, at that moment in time, synthesize data to make a better diagnosis. To be able to process a lot of information in a way that's very difficult for them to do right now, or very time-consuming," Mike Daniels, Google Cloud vice president for the public sector, told Defense One.

The DIU, a Defense Department agency, partners with commercial companies for the adoption of commercial technology in military and national security matters.

The project is meant to improve the accuracy of diagnoses, assist physicians facing an overwhelming volume of data when making treatment decisions and help lower overall healthcare costs.

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It will initially be rolled out to select Defense Health Agency treatment facilities and Veteran's Affairs hospitals, in the United States, with plans to expand it throughout the Military Health System.

The contract is an example of the use of artificial intelligence in developing tangible and useful products, although in 2018, some Google employees were critical of a collaboration with the Defense Department in which artificial intelligence was applied to drones to track moving objects.

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