Google Lens can now help you identify that weird rash

Google Lens can help identify various skin conditions, though Google stresses the results are "informational only"

Google’s visual search tool, Lens, can now “search skin conditions,” giving people a way to quickly research the odd moles or rashes on their body.

The company highlighted the capability, along with other features, in a recent blog post. Google says it can be difficult to describe some skin conditions with words alone, so the feature should help in that regard:

“Describing an odd mole or rash on your skin can be hard to do with words alone. Fortunately, there’s a new way Lens can help, with the ability to search skin conditions that are visually similar to what you see on your skin. Just take a picture or upload a photo through Lens, and you’ll find visual matches to inform your search. This feature also works if you’re not sure how to describe something else on your body, like a bump on your lip, a line on your nails or hair loss on your head.”

GIF credit: Google

However, The Verge notes that Lens warns that search results are “informational only” and aren’t a diagnosis. People who need a diagnosis should talk to their doctor.

Of course, Google can put all the warnings it wants on the feature — people will still likely use it that way. If the company is serious about people not using it as a medical diagnosis, it probably shouldn’t offer the feature at all.

Moreover, The Verge detailed how there are good reasons to be wary of machine learning and artificial intelligence tools like this. There’s always a question of how accurate these tools are, and a persistent criticism of tools like this is that they’re less accurate for people with darker skin tones. Google has previously claimed its tools were more accurate with darker skin tones, but there are plenty of questions about how Google came to that conclusion.

And that’s not even digging into the myriad of potential privacy concerns around taking pictures of potential skin conditions and uploading them to Lens.

Source: Google Via: The Verge