Companies plan to build largest image-based AI model to fight cancer

Microsoft has joined forces with Paige, an artificial intelligence company that specializes in studying diseases, to build what could be a groundbreaking tool in the fight against cancer. 

The companies announced they will be collaborating to build the world’s largest image-based artificial intelligence models for digital pathology and oncology.

Paige said up to 4 million digitized microscopy slides of different types of cancer will be used in the project. Microsoft’s supercomputer infrastructure will reportedly train the technology to identify different biomarkers. The plan is to equip hospitals and laboratories across the world with the technology to help medical professionals possibly detect cancers earlier and come up with treatment options.

“We strongly believe we will significantly advance the state-of-the-art in cancer imaging,” said Razik Yousfi, senior vice president of technology at Paige. “Through the development of this model, we will help improve the lives of the millions of people who are affected by cancer every day.” 

Microsoft executives believe that unleashing the power of AI into cancer research is a “game changer” in advancing health care for patients. 

“We are creating new AI models that will enable unprecedented insights into the pathology of cancer,” said Desney Tan, vice president and managing director of Microsoft Health Futures.

The National Cancer Institute estimates that roughly 2 million people will be diagnosed with some form of cancer this year. The agency says breast cancer and prostate cancer will each make up 15% of all new cases, which is more than any other single type of cancer.