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This algorithm reads X-rays better than doctors do

Artificial intelligence has some radiologists worried about automation.

When you think of fields that are being affected by automation, medicine doesn’t usually come to mind. But recent developments in artificial intelligence have doctors in at least one specialization worried that algorithms are coming for their jobs.

Researchers at Stanford University are developing a model that can screen X-rays for pneumonia and other diseases, a task that’s usually done by radiologists. When tested against a panel of expert radiologists, the algorithm performed at the same level — and sometimes better than humans — in diagnosing several pathologies.

And they’re among many doctors experimenting with artificial intelligence to read medical images. VICE News spoke with radiologists working on this new technology about whether it could one day replace them.