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Artificial intelligence better than scientists at choosing successful IVF embryos

They believe the inexpensive technique has the potential to transform care for patients and help women achieve pregnancy sooner.

During the process, AI was “trained” in what a good embryo looks like from a series of images.

AI is able to recognise and quantify 24 image characteristics of embryos that are invisible to the human eye.

These include the size of the embryo, texture of the image and biological characteristics such as the number and homogeneity of cells.

During the study, which used cattle embryos, 48 images were evaluated three times each by embryologists and by the AI system.

The embryologists could not agree on their findings across the three images, but AI led to complete agreement.

Stuart Lavery, director of the Boston Place Clinic, said the technology would not replace examining chromosomes in detail, which is thought to be a key factor in determining which embryos are “normal” or “abnormal”.

He said: “Looking at chromosomes does work, but it is expensive and it is invasive to the embryo.