London's world-leading Moorfields eye hospital has donated a vast catalogue of personal health data to Google's AI project DeepMind, in the hope that the self-teaching computer brain may somehow come up with critical methods of identifying potential problems with people's eyesight.
Seeing as it appears to be quite a noble project, we probably shouldn't get too angry about the NHS handing over yet more personal data to vast US tech conglomerates. According to Moorfields itself there's nothing to worry about, as all it's emailed over are historical records and associated case files, plus even if it was to leak who'd really be that interested in downloading a RAR file of people's glasses prescriptions anyway?
Moorfields says the aim is to get faster and more accurate diagnosis of eye problems, particularly focusing on age-related conditions and damage caused by diabetes. Professor Sir Peng Tee Khaw said: "Our research with DeepMind has the potential to revolutionise the way professionals carry out eye tests and could lead to earlier detection and treatment of common eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration. With sight loss predicted to double by the year 2050 it is vital we explore the use of cutting-edge technology to prevent eye disease." [Moorfields via The Register]