AI Is Acquiring a Sense of Smell that Can Detect Illnesses in Human Breath

AI V 01

AI Is Acquiring . . . Link

Published in TheConversation.com by Andrea Soltoggio, Lecturer, Loughborough University.    This article is fascinating — it seems probable that most of us don’t appreciate the nuances and power of one of our major senses — smell.  Andrea’s article in TheConversation.com is fascinating and inspiring when that “attribute” is considered in the context of artificial intelligence.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is best known for its ability to see (as in driverless cars) and listen (as in Alexa and other home assistants). From now on, it may also smell. My colleagues and I are developing an AI system that can smell human breath and learn how to identify a range of illness-revealing substances that we might breathe out.

The sense of smell is used by animals and even plants to identify hundreds of different substances that float in the air. But compared to that of other animals, the human sense of smell is far less developed and certainly not used to carry out daily activities. For this reason, humans aren’t particularly aware of the richness of information that can be transmitted through the air, and can be perceived by a highly sensitive olfactory system. AI may be about to change that.