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Why AI Will Be the Best Tool for Extending Our Longevity

artificial intelligence future of health longevity

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#1 Engadin

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Posted 17 December 2019 - 09:29 PM


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F U L L   T E X T   S O U R C E :   SingularityHub

 

 

 

 

 

Dmitry Kaminskiy speaks as though he were trying to unload everything he knows about the science and economics of longevity—from senolytics research that seeks to stop aging cells from spewing inflammatory proteins and other molecules to the trillion-dollar life extension industry that he and his colleagues are trying to foster—in one sitting.
 
At the heart of the discussion with Singularity Hub is the idea that artificial intelligence will be the engine that drives breakthroughs in how we approach healthcare and healthy aging—a concept with little traction even just five years ago.
 
“At that time, it was considered too futuristic that artificial intelligence and data science … might be more accurate compared to any hypothesis of human doctors,” said Kaminskiy, co-founder and managing partner at Deep Knowledge Ventures, an investment firm that is betting big on AI and longevity.
 
How times have changed. Artificial intelligence in healthcare is attracting more investments and deals than just about any sector of the economy, according to data research firm CB Insights. In the most recent third quarter, AI healthcare startups raised nearly $1.6 billion, buoyed by a $550 million mega-round from London-based Babylon Health, which uses AI to collect data from patients, analyze the information, find comparable matches, then make recommendations.
 
Even without the big bump from Babylon Health, AI healthcare startups raised more than $1 billion last quarter, including two companies focused on longevity therapeutics: Juvenescence and Insilico Medicine.
 
The latter has risen to prominence for its novel use of reinforcement learning and general adversarial networks (GANs) to accelerate the drug discovery process. Insilico Medicine recently published a seminal paper that demonstrated how such an AI system could generate a drug candidate in just 46 days. Co-founder and CEO Alex Zhavoronkov said he believes there is no greater goal in healthcare today—or, really, any venture—than extending the healthy years of the human lifespan.
 
“I don’t think that there is anything more important than that,” he told Singularity Hub, explaining that an unhealthy society is detrimental to a healthy economy. “I think that it’s very, very important to extend healthy, productive lifespan just to fix the economy.”
 
 
An Aging Crisis
 
The surge of interest in longevity is coming at a time when life expectancy in the US is actually dropping, despite the fact that we spend more money on healthcare than any other nation.
 
A new paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that after six decades of gains, life expectancy for Americans has decreased since 2014, particularly among young and middle-aged adults. While some of the causes are societal, such as drug overdoses and suicide, others are health-related.
 
While average life expectancy in the US is 78, Kaminskiy noted that healthy life expectancy is about ten years less.
 
To Zhavoronkov’s point about the economy (a topic of great interest to Kaminskiy as well), the US spent $1.1 trillion on chronic diseases in 2016, according to a report from the Milken Institute, with diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, and Alzheimer’s among the most costly expenses to the healthcare system. When the indirect costs of lost economic productivity are included, the total price tag of chronic diseases in the US is $3.7 trillion, nearly 20 percent of GDP.
 
“So this is the major negative feedback on the national economy and creating a lot of negative social [and] financial issues,” Kaminskiy said.
 
 
Investing in Longevity
 
That has convinced Kaminskiy that an economy focused on extending healthy human lifespans—including the financial instruments and institutions required to support a long-lived population—is the best way forward.
 
He has co-authored a book on the topic with Margaretta Colangelo, another managing partner at Deep Knowledge Ventures, which has launched a specialized investment fund, Longevity.Capital, focused on the longevity industry. Kaminskiy estimates that there are now about 20 such investment funds dedicated to funding life extension companies.
 
In November at the inaugural AI for Longevity Summit in London, he and his collaborators also introduced the Longevity AI Consortium, an academic-industry initiative at King’s College London. Eventually, the research center will include an AI Longevity Accelerator program to serve as a bridge between startups and UK investors.
 
Deep Knowledge Ventures has committed about £7 million ($9 million) over the next three years to the accelerator program, as well as establishing similar consortiums in other regions of the world, according to Franco Cortese, a partner at Longevity.Capital and director of the Aging Analytics Agency, which has produced a series of reports on longevity.
 
 
A Cure for What Ages You
 
One of the most recent is an overview of Biomarkers for Longevity. A biomarker, in the case of longevity, is a measurable component of health that can indicate a disease state or a more general decline in health associated with aging. Examples range from something as simple as BMI as an indicator of obesity, which is associated with a number of chronic diseases, to sophisticated measurements of telomeres, the protective ends of chromosomes that shorten as we age.
 
While some researchers are working on moonshot therapies to reverse or slow aging—with a few even arguing we could expand human life on the order of centuries—Kaminskiy said he believes understanding biomarkers of aging could make more radical interventions unnecessary.
 
In this vision of healthcare, people would be able to monitor their health 24-7, with sensors attuned to various biomarkers that could indicate the onset of everything from the flu to diabetes. AI would be instrumental in not just ingesting the billions of data points required to develop such a system, but also what therapies, treatments, or micro-doses of a drug or supplement would be required to maintain homeostasis.
 
 
 
 
 
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#2 Mind

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Posted 18 December 2019 - 07:13 PM

Aging is too complex for any single human to understand. I liken it to weather prediction. Meteorologists became very good at forecasting the weather 2 to 3 days in advance through the mid part of the 20th century. Forecasting would not have progressed much further without the help of computer modelling. Now we have reliable forecasts out to 6 or 7 days, thanks to supercomputers. I think AI will produce similar advancements in the understanding and treatment of aging.


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#3 Engadin

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Posted 18 December 2019 - 08:45 PM

And if you add quantum computation to it, you get a winner combo in the very short term. Hardcore big data computational analysis capacity (AI) plus blistering computational power (Quantum processors) gives a revolution comparable to human genome sequencing in 2003, April 14th, but a several hundred orders of magnitude above.



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#4 Engadin

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Posted 19 December 2019 - 12:37 PM

 

 

Potential applications of quantum computing

 

Applications for quantum computing will be narrow and focused, as general-purpose quantum computing will most likely never be economical. However, the technology does hold the potential to revolutionize certain industries. Quantum computing could enable breakthroughs by:

  • Machine learning: Improved ML through faster structured prediction. Examples include Boltzmann machines, quantum Boltzmann machines, semisupervised learning, unsupervised learning and deep learning.
  • Artificial intelligence: Faster calculations could improve perception, comprehension, and circuit fault diagnosis/binary classifiers.
  • Biochemistry: New drugs, tailored drugs, and maybe even hair restorer.
  • Healthcare: DNA gene sequencing, such as radiotherapy treatment optimization/brain tumor detection, could be performed in seconds instead of hours or weeks.

 

 

 

 

S O U R C E :   GARTNER_If These Quantum Numbers Are Right We Have A Big Future

 

 

 

 

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Edited by Engadin, 19 December 2019 - 12:39 PM.






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