Two Mumbai-based teens, Aasimm Khan and Sidharth Jain, have won the Imagine Cup Junior AI award, an initiative of Microsoft, for developing a non-invasive screening for skin cancer by using artificial intelligence. Khan and Jain (both 17 years old) represented OMOTEC (On My Own Technology), a city-based educational and innovation centre, under the banner Team GForce to showcase their research in developing a non-invasive pressure mapping method to screen skin cancer and enable early detection. Team GForce won the award in the ‘AI for Humanitarian Action’ category for detecting genital skin cancer.
Imagine Cup Junior AI is a competition for students aged 13 to 18; it aims to engage them in understanding AI concepts and how it can be used to change the world around them. It’s the first time that Microsoft has introduced the Imagine Cup for age category below 18 years.
Cancer is curable, but when it is detected in the early stages. As far as genital skin cancer is concerned, factors such as privacy, comfort, social hurdles and restrictions can lead to postponing detection. “Biopsy is an invasive method to screen cancer, but when conducted in genital region, it causes pain, infection, numbness, etc,” Khan said. “Our engineering goal is to screen suspicious skin lesions non-invasively, providing detailed analysis to doctors virtually, reducing the number of times patients experience an invasion of their privacy, giving them control of the screening process, respecting their privacy, and promoting early detection.”
Jain added: “We developed a machine learning model, executed and deployed as a mobile app. In this, the image of the lesion is processed and fed into our Deep Convolutional Neural Network (DCNN)—trained and tested with 5,000 images—yielding a percentage probability report of the lesion being classified as malignant, benign or premalignant.” As a part of their award, each winner received a back-pack, a trophy and a certificate.
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