I have the opportunity of doing a PhD under the supervision of an expert in medical imaging at a top institution. Currently their group does not conduct research into the application of machine learning to medical image acquisition and processing. The purpose of the PhD studentship would be to pursue research into this. The department has significant machine learning and signal processing research groups whose seminars I will be able to attend and academics I can have contact with.
The supervisor has not for some time (before deep learning) pursued research in machine learning. The PhD itself is as yet not strongly structured and will initially require a deal of exploration and prospecting before its final form is decided.
Given that there is a safe fallback of medical imaging I do not foresee a risk to completing the PhD. However, as the only member of the group pursuing machine learning would this be a very risky PhD to embark on, particularly considering that afterwards I intend to pursue a career in academia? Are there any benefits?