Fostering curiosity in kids (and their parents) since 2011

There should be an app for that…

Housekeeping note: It’s the final days of the school year and there are a lot of things going on that require my input/attention. So posting will be casual (read: short and random) for a little while.

As regular readers know, we’ve moved to California. We did this because my husband took a job at Google as part of their Medical AI team. This past week, news broke that Google had developed a Medical AI that could detect lung cancer in CT scans as well or better than trained radiologists.

This fact, while cool, is really just background information. I was talking to the now Twelve-Year-Old (!) about this in the car the other day, and she brought up the topic of melanoma. As in, wouldn’t it be cool if you could take pictures of weird stuff on your skin and have your smartphone tell you if you needed to see a doctor for it or not.

Me: “Yes, but that would arguably be the ickiest image set ever.”

The Twelve-Year-Old, ignoring me and running with this scenario in her head:

<Click> “Hey Google, what’s that?”
Imaginary Google App: “That’s your nose.”
<Click> “Hey Google, what’s that?”
Imaginary Google App: “That’s your leg.”
<Click> “Hey Google, what’s that?
Imaginary Google App: “Either that’s your chin or you have a problem.”

In the process of writing this post, I did a quick search to see if this sort of app existed. After all, an app that can detect potential skin cancer seems like a great use for AI in the age of smartphones. And of course, folks are already working on it.

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