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Artificial Intelligence is the key to fighting cancer

Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be used to fight cancer.

The NHS and technology companies are set to team up to use AI as a "new weapon" in research, according to a speech given by UK prime minister Theresa May.

According to BBC News, she said in her speech: "Late diagnosis of otherwise treatable illnesses is one of the biggest causes of avoidable deaths.

"And the development of smart technologies to analyse great quantities of data quickly and with a higher degree of accuracy than is possible by human beings opens up a whole new field of medical research."

Experts estimate AI could be used to tackle 22,000 cancer deaths a year by 2033, whilst also aiding the fight against heart disease, diabetes and dementia.

Cancer Research UK - a charity focused on helping to fund research for cancer treatments - says halving the number of lung, bowel, prostate and ovarian cancers diagnosed at an advanced stage could prevent thousands of deaths a year, and AI could help to diagnose those cancers at an earlier stage.

Sir Harpal Kumar, chief executive officer of Cancer Research, said: "We need to ensure we have the right infrastructure, embedded in our health system, to make this possible."

Whilst Simon Gillespie, chief executive at the British Heart Foundation, added: "Using artificial intelligence to analyse MRI scans could spot early signs of heart disease which may be missed by current techniques.

"This could lead to a quicker diagnosis with more personalised treatment that could ultimately save lives."

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