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A curved tunnel-like structure with repeating number sequences. The curved tunnel subtly suggests a light at the end of it.

Infertility treatment is an emotional and financial rollercoaster. For couples trying to conceive (“TTC” in the many on-line support forums), repeated failure of implantation, defined as three or more failed in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles where no clear cause can be identified, is a frequent, heartbreaking end point when the emotional, physical or financial burden of treatment becomes too high to keep looking for an answer. By some estimates, up to two thirds of patients experience failed cycles.

That means there’s a lot of opportunity to improve in a field where every small advance in technology represents a chance to make a family. A new infertility-related artificial intelligence (AI) startup thinks it can do just that—and some of the biggest players in computing are betting big that they are right.

AI is already being used to try and solve some big health care challenges. For example, IBM has developed a computational model that predicts heart failure, and has lent use of the Watson supercomputer to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York to develop cancer-diagnosis and selection-of-treatment plans. Referred...