The medical industry could be set for a "revolution" with the emergence of more complex artificial intelligence (AI), one of Microsoft's top researchers told CNBC on Wednesday, as technology giants look to enter the health care space.
AI is a broad area, but one part of this called "machine learning", can be used to analyze a large amount of data, make predictions, and offer personalized recommendations. In theory, machine learning means that a piece of computer software can learn and get smarter.
Microsoft and other major U.S. technology giants have been investing in AI, acquiring smaller companies, and finding applications.
For Microsoft, the medical industry could be transformed with the tech.
"I think artificial intelligence is probably the biggest transformation in the IT industry. Medical is such a big area in terms of GDP that that's got to be a good bet," Christopher Bishop, lab director at Microsoft Research in Cambridge, U.K., told CNBC in a TV interview.
"I think the medical domain is set for a revolution."
The Redmond, WA-based firm has been trialing ways in which AI and machine learning can be used to analyze medical scans of patients. For example, the technology can be used to scan an image of a brain tumor to quantify how big it is, the different tissues it is made up of and then decide on the best course of treatment. This could help doctors discover details about the tumor that they may not have been able to before, or that might have taken a long time to uncover.