Skip to Content
Artificial intelligence

The UK wants to build a cancer-diagnosing AI to save lives

In her latest effort to make the UK a global leader in AI, British prime minister Theresa May announced plans today to spend millions on developing algorithms that can spot cancer.

The details: May wants to open up the medical data gathered by country’s National Health Service to companies and nonprofit groups interested in working with the government to build AI that can recognize signs of cancer. Along with collecting information about patients’ lifestyles, the goal is to create tools that general practitioners can use to refer patients to specialists.

Goals: The plan is for AI to diagnose 50,000 people at early stages of prostate, ovarian, lung, or bowel cancer a year by 2033. The UK government estimates that early diagnosis of these cancers could prevent as many as 22,000 deaths a year.

But: The proposal raises questions about what the government will do to ensure privacy and ethical use of the data. May could help assuage critics by following through with her plan for a council on data ethics.

Deep Dive

Artificial intelligence

Large language models can do jaw-dropping things. But nobody knows exactly why.

And that's a problem. Figuring it out is one of the biggest scientific puzzles of our time and a crucial step towards controlling more powerful future models.

OpenAI teases an amazing new generative video model called Sora

The firm is sharing Sora with a small group of safety testers but the rest of us will have to wait to learn more.

Google DeepMind’s new generative model makes Super Mario–like games from scratch

Genie learns how to control games by watching hours and hours of video. It could help train next-gen robots too.

Responsible technology use in the AI age

AI presents distinct social and ethical challenges, but its sudden rise presents a singular opportunity for responsible adoption.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.