There are biological features that can give clues to a person’s ethnicity, like the colour of their eyes or skin. But beneath all that, it’s difficult for humans to tell. That’s not the case for AI algorithms, according to a study that’s not yet been peer reviewed.
A team of researchers trained five different models on x-rays of different parts of the body, including chest and hands and then labelled each image according to the patient’s race. The machine learning systems were then tested on how well they could predict someone’s race given just their medical scans.
They were surprisingly accurate. The worst performing was able to predict the right answer 80 per cent of the time, and the best was able to do this 99 per cent, according to the paper.
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