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Approximating facial expression effects on diagnostic accuracy via generative AI in medical genetics.

Bioinformatics (Oxford, England)

Authors: Tanviben Patel, Amna A Othman, Ömer Sümer, Fabio Hellman, Peter Krawitz, Elisabeth André, Molly E Ripper, Chris Fortney, Susan Persky, Ping Hu, Cedrik Tekendo-Ngongang, Suzanna Ledgister Hanchard, Kendall A Flaharty, Rebekah L Waikel, Dat Duong, Benjamin D Solomon

Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly used in genomics research and practice, and generative AI has garnered significant recent attention. In clinical applications of generative AI, aspects of the underlying datasets can impact results, and confounders should be studied and mitigated. One example involves the facial expressions of people with genetic conditions. Stereotypically, Williams (WS) and Angelman (AS) syndromes are associated with a "happy" demeanor, including a smiling expression. Clinical geneticists may be more likely to identify these conditions in images of smiling individuals. To study the impact of facial expression, we analyzed publicly available facial images of approximately 3500 individuals with genetic conditions. Using a deep learning (DL) image classifier, we found that WS and AS images with non-smiling expressions had significantly lower prediction probabilities for the correct syndrome labels than those with smiling expressions. This was not seen for 22q11.2 deletion and Noonan syndromes, which are not associated with a smiling expression. To further explore the effect of facial expressions, we computationally altered the facial expressions for these images. We trained HyperStyle, a GAN-inversion technique compatible with StyleGAN2, to determine the vector representations of our images. Then, following the concept of InterfaceGAN, we edited these vectors to recreate the original images in a phenotypically accurate way but with a different facial expression. Through online surveys and an eye-tracking experiment, we examined how altered facial expressions affect the performance of human experts. We overall found that facial expression is associated with diagnostic accuracy variably in different genetic conditions.

© The Author(s) 2024. Published by Oxford University Press.

PMID: 38940144

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