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This is part of a news article about an AI program that reads CT scans for diagnosis. I don't understand the meaning of 'of the time' at the end, which seems to be an error or possibly an unnecessary phrase. I guess the last sentence in the following paragraph means Sybil was able to predict whether a person will develop lung cancer within a coming year with at most 94% accuracy.

Meet Sybil, an artificial intelligence program. “We developed Sybil, an algorithm that is able to tell who might be at risk for lung cancer one, three, five years down the road.” Sybil could accurately predict whether a person will develop lung cancer in the next year up to 94% of the time.

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  • "of the time" is mainly used in the set phrase "most of the time", meaning that something is true more often than not. Using it with a percentage, as above, is grammatically correct but unusual.
    – JavaLatte
    Jun 2, 2023 at 5:33

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"Of the time," is a common phrase, based on the idea that "times" means multiple instances. We can try something once, or a second time, or many times.

  • "It works 94% of all the times Sybil was tested."
  • "She learned to multiply by memorizing the times tables."
  • "Four times out of ten flips the coin landed heads-up."
  • Writing "5 + 5 + 5 = 20," we say "Three times five equals twenty."

But memorizing, "These are the times that try men's souls," might be a Paine.

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  • Haha. Cruel pun in an English learner's forum. :p
    – ralph.m
    Jun 2, 2023 at 2:19
  • @DrMoishe Pippik I wonder if the sentence can be rephrased like "Sybil could accurately predict whether a person will develop lung cancer in the next year up to 94% of the time when Sybil was asked about his/her case." Jun 2, 2023 at 3:46
  • You could paraphrase it that way, though it would be overlong. Also, the colloquial way to state that would be, "up to 94% of the times that Sybil was asked." The plural would be more natural, here, I believe. Jun 2, 2023 at 5:09
  • A better paraphrase is the one at the end of the OP itself. Jun 2, 2023 at 10:37

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