How DeepMind uses Big Data in practice
DeepMind’s work is based on a solid grounding in neuroscience. This has underpinned the company’s strategy of developing AI by teaching computers to mimic the thought processes of our own brains, in particular, how we use information to make decisions and learn from our mistakes. Google’s interest in DeepMind likely lies in advancing the fields of machine learning and simulated neural networks – developing machines with more human-like thought processes, with the capacity to carry out jobs which previously would have required trained humans.
Aside from winning at games, DeepMind has also been implemented across numerous healthcare projects, such as a collaboration with UCL’s radiotherapy department to reduce the amount of time it takes to plan treatments. The group has said that by unleashing machine learning on the process of mapping a patient’s head and neck area, the time taken to create treatment plans for these complicated procedures could be reduced from four hours to around one hour.
The technical details
One specific DeepMind project involves a collaboration with London’s Moorfields Eye Hospital. DeepMind has been given access to one million images from historical eye scans, along with associated (anonymised) patient data. It is training itself to read the scans and spot early signs which may indicate the onset of degenerative eye conditions.
Ideas and insights you can steal
Google is not seeing any direct profits from DeepMind’s healthcare partnerships, which may initially seem strange. But all Google is really doing is staying true to its core belief that knowledge – or data – is the real prize. The experience and learning that DeepMind will acquire from analysing these data sets is a reward in its own right, and will help to further refine its cognitive processes.
What businesses can learn from this is to keep their eye on the prize. Not every data project will boost a company’s bottom line, but it will almost certainly deliver other benefits, such as a clearer understanding of products, markets and customers – all of which will help the business succeed in the future.
You can read more about how companies are using Big Data to drive success in Big Data in Practice: How 45 Successful Companies Used Big Data Analytics to Deliver Extraordinary Results.
Bernard Marr is a bestselling author, keynote speaker, and advisor to companies and governments. He has worked with and advised many of the world's best-known organisations. LinkedIn has recently ranked Bernard as one of the top 10 Business Influencers in the world (in fact, No 5 - just behind Bill Gates and Richard Branson). He writes on the topics of intelligent business performance for various publications including Forbes, HuffPost, and LinkedIn Pulse. His blogs and SlideShare presentation have millions of readers.