CancerAI's mission is to save lives by developing and deploying new artificial intelligence technology that dramatically improves cancer prevention, detection, and treatment.
Artificial intelligence is beginning to help predict cancer risk, detect cancer earlier, and accelerate drug discovery. It's an exciting time, and we're close to major breakthroughs in the fight against this terrible disease.
But there's still work to be done. We need better AI: better computer vision analysis of medical imagery, improved natural language understanding of medical records, and better AI models of molecular interactions (just to name a few).
Why a nonprofit?
Tackling these challenges requires focused effort from the best people in machine learning, and many of the best people are attracted to an organization driven by a mission instead of a profit. Because CancerAI is unconstrained by the need to generate a financial return, our research scientists and software engineers are free to focus solely on solving AI problems that improve cancer outcomes. They are also completely free to publish their research and open-source their software, delivering cancer solutions more quickly to the people who desperately need them.
In addition to great people, fighting cancer with machine learning requires tremendous amounts of data. Most people are willing to share their medical information to help cure a disease, but they push back hard against any organization which tries to turn a profit on their medical record. Since we’re a nonprofit, hospitals and other organizations with medical data can work with CancerAI and not worry about negative headlines or patient backlash. Everybody wins - except cancer.
Bringing cancer and AI together
Cancer and machine learning researchers generally live in separate worlds, publishing in different journals and attending different conferences. CancerAI will facilitate knowledge transfer and foster collaboration between these fields. That’s why our advisors are from leading institutions in both areas, such as the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, MIT, and Massachusetts General Hospital.
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