The power of machine learning and the benefits from that technology continue to be discovered. Recently, machine learning’s ability to produce actionable results from unstructured data is literally saving lives. Forbes brought this interesting information to our attention in their article, “Machine Learning Breaks Bottleneck In Gathering Valuable Information About Cancer.”

study published in the April 2016 volume of The Journal of Biomedical Informatics used machine learning algorithms to identify cancer diagnoses from free text pathology reports. The results provide strong evidence that machine learning techniques can bypass a central bottleneck that interferes with turning unstructured data into useful information.

The scope of benefits that could be realized if the information in these reports could be compiled and easily accessed to produce actionable results is unlimited at this point. Using the disastrous situation in Flint, Michigan as an example, the lead contamination in the water supply might have been discovered sooner if individual doctors’ reports noting unusually high lead levels in children’s blood had been gathered in an accessible format at an earlier date.

Semantic technology, artificial intelligence, and machine learning continue to evolve and be used in a variety of applications. Because of this, it has never been more important to have someone with expertise and knowledge handling your content, developing your taxonomies, and making your information findable.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.