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Artificial intelligence and the cardiologist: what you need to know for 2020
  1. Antonio de Marvao1,
  2. Timothy JW Dawes1,2,
  3. James Philip Howard2,
  4. Declan P O'Regan1
  1. 1 MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences, Imperial College London, London, UK
  2. 2 National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Antonio de Marvao, MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences, Imperial College London, London W12 0HS, UK;{at}

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We live in an era with unprecedented availability of clinical and biological data that include electronic health records, wearable sensors, biomedical imaging and multiomics. The scale, complexity and rate at which such data are collected require innovative approaches to statistics and computer science that draw on the rapid advances in artificial intelligence (AI) for efficiently identifying actionable insights into disease processes. A basic understanding of AI’s strengths, applications and limitations is now essential for researchers and clinical cardiologists.

In this context, AI refers to a collection of computational concepts that can be summarised as a machine’s ability to generalise learning in order to efficiently achieve complex tasks autonomously. Machine learning (ML) achieves this by using algorithms to improve task performance without needing to be explicitly programmed and can be broadly divided into supervised and unsupervised approaches. In supervised learning, the mapping between paired input and output variables is iteratively optimised for use in regression and classification tasks. In unsupervised learning, only input data are available and algorithms are used to find inherent clusters or associations. In recent years, ML has become dominated by deep learning (DL), which is a methodology using multilayer neural networks to progressively obtain more abstract representations of complex data. Figure 1 provides a high-level schematic of the field of AI.

Figure 1

Artificial Intelligence through time.

A DL algorithm consists of three types of layer: an input layer, hidden layers …

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