AI beats Doctors at detecting early stage Cervical Cancer

Prelims level : Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Mains level : GS 3: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, Robotics, Nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
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  • Artificial intelligence may be poised to wipe out cervical cancer, after a study showed on Thursday that computer algorithms can detect pre-cancerous lesions far better than trained experts or conventional screening tests.


  • According to the World Health Organization, cervical cancer is the fourth most frequent cancer in women with an estimated 570,000 new cases globally in 2018.
  • Despite major advances in screening and vaccination, which can prevent the spread of human papillomavirus which causes most cases of cervical cancer, those gains have mainly benefited women in rich nations.
  • Some 266,000 women died of cervical cancer globally in 2012, 90% of them in low-and middle-income nations, according to the WHO.
  • This is has much linked the disease cervical cancer with the economic status of the patient.
  • Hence there raises a necessity to find extremely cheap, easy and yet accurate method to detect and wipe out cervical cancer.
  • According to a report, the AI technique, called automated visual evaluation, found precancerous cells with 91% accuracy.
  • The goal is to roll out the technology in the next three to five years, enrolling more patients in clinical trials worldwide, says the study.

About AI:

  • An intelligence exhibited by machines
  • It is a branch of computer science which deals with creating computers or machines as intelligent as human beings. It is a simulation of human intelligence processes such as learning (the acquisition of information and rules for using the information), reasoning (using the rules to reach approximate or definite conclusions), and self-correction by machines, especially computer systems.
  • Nowadays it has become an umbrella term which encompasses everything from robotic process automation to actual robotics.

Areas of AI technologies:

  • Robotic process automation: Automation is the process of making a system or processes function automatically. Robots can be programmed to perform high-volume, repeatable tasks normally performed by humans and further it is different from IT automation because of its agility and adaptability to the changing circumstances.
  • Natural language processing (NLP) is the processing of human language and not computer language by a computer program. For Example, spam detection, which looks at the subject line and the text of an email and decides if it’s junk.
  • Pattern recognition is a branch of machine learning that focuses on identifying patterns in data. Machine vision is the science of making computers visualize by capturing and analyzing visual information using a camera, analog-to-digital conversion, and digital signal processing. It is often compared to human eyesight, but machine vision isn’t bound by biology and can be programmed to see through walls. It is used in a range of applications from signature identification to medical image analysis.
  • Machine learning: Field of study that gives computers the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed. Deep learning is a subset of machine learning and can be thought of as the automation of predictive analytics.
  • Robotics is a field of engineering focused on the design and manufacturing of robots. Robots are often used to perform tasks that are difficult for humans to perform or perform consistently.

National Strategy on Artificial intelligence:

  • It is unveiled by NITI Aayog and it has identified five sectors – healthcare, agriculture, education, smart cities and infrastructure and transportation and hence to to focus its efforts towards implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) to serve societal needs.
  • AI refers to the ability of machines to perform cognitive tasks like thinking, perceiving, learning, problem solving and decision making
  • This strategy helps to focus on to leverage the transformative technologies to ensure social and inclusive growth in line with the developmental agenda of the government
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