Skin Cancer Predictions and Fake Customer Service Agents are the Latest in AI Advancements


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The world may still be a long way from futuristic, superintelligent sci-fi droids — or even a tough-talking metal maid like The Jetsons‘ Rosey the Robot — but the boundless applications of artificial intelligence are growing by the day.

On Wednesday, AI researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas announced they’ve developed a way to determine the severity of skin cancer with a deep learning AI. The announcement comes less than a day after a Korean firm raised $44 million to roll out human-like chatbots also created with deep learning tech.

In Two Deep

Needless to say, reproducing authentic customer service interactions and assessing a cancer prognosis are two wildly different things. Here’s how each unique feat is accomplished with the help of AI:

  • Researchers in Texas directed artificial intelligence to study the differences between 1.7 million images of melanoma cells with high and low metastatic potential — essentially equipping the AI with the acumen to identify features of skin cancer invisible to the human eye. Doctors then reversed the findings to determine which features indicated more potentially dangerous conditions.
  • Seoul-based DeepBrain, meanwhile, is utilizing videos of human models moving and speaking to make “AI humans” — or a virtual human avatar that can speak and move its head. The avatars appear as chatbots on a screen and are already in use by customers including KB Kookmin Bank. DeepBrain, now valued at $180 million, expects its revenue to double to $5 million this year.