The researchers hope that in future the AI tool can be used to follow infections in a cell and map cellular defence mechanisms, which would open up huge possibilities for new medicines and treatments
Developed at the University of Gothenburg, an AI tool offers new opportunities for analysing images taken with microscopes. A study shows that the AI tool that has received international recognition already, can pave the way for new discoveries and areas of use within both research and industry and fundamentally change microscopy.
The focus of the study is deep learning, a type of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning that we all interact with daily.
Benjamin Midtvedt, a doctoral student in physics and the main author of the study said, “Deep learning has taken the world by storm and has had a huge impact on many industries, sectors, and scientific fields. We have now developed a tool that makes it possible to utilize the incredible potential of deep learning, with focus on images taken with microscopes”.
Used to solve problems that are difficult to tackle using traditional algorithmic methods, deep learning can be described as a mathematical model. To retrieve as much information as possible from the data-packed images is the great challenge in microscopy and this is where deep learning has proven to be very effective.
To retrieve exactly the information that a researcher wants from an image by looking through a huge number of images, known as training data, the AI tool that Midtvedt and his research colleagues have developed involves neural networks learning. For generating tens of thousands of images in an hour instead of a hundred in a month, the AI tool simplifies the process of producing training data compared with having to do so manually.
“This makes it possible to quickly extract more details from microscope images without needing to create a complicated analysis with traditional methods. In addition, the results are reproducible, and customized, specific information can be retrieved for a specific purpose”.
For very small particles and to easily count and classify cells, the AI tool allows the user to decide the size and material characteristics. As per demonstrated by researchers, industries that need to purify their emissions can use the AI tool, since they can see in real-time whether all unwanted particles have been filtered out.
The researchers hope that in future the AI tool can be used to follow infections in a cell and map cellular defence mechanisms, which would open up huge possibilities for new medicines and treatments.
“We have already seen major international interest in the tool. Regardless of the microscopic challenges, researchers can now more easily conduct analyses, make new discoveries, implement ideas and break new ground within their fields”.