AI can predict when someone will die with unsettling accuracy

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Do AI systems have a role to play in healthcare?Yuichiro Chino / Getty Images

This isn’t the first time experts have harnessed AI’s predictive power for healthcare.

Medical researchers have unlocked an unsettling ability in artificial intelligence (AI): predicting a person’s early death.

Scientists recently trained an AI system to evaluate a decade of general health data submitted by more than half a million people in the United Kingdom. Then, they tasked the AI with predicting if individuals were at risk of dying prematurely — in other words, sooner than the average life expectancy — from chronic disease, they reported in a new study.

The predictions of early death that were made by AI algorithms were “significantly more accurate” than predictions delivered by a model that did not use machine learning, lead study author Dr. Stephen Weng, an assistant professor of epidemiology and data science at the University of Nottingham (UN) in the U.K., said in a statement. [Can Machines Be Creative? Meet 9 AI ‘Artists’]

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Surprising huge diversity in aging revealed in nature

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Not all species weaken and become more likely to die as they age.

Most people would probably describe aging as when we our in our youth we are strong and healthy and then we weaken and die. But, in nature, the phenomenon of aging shows an unexpected diversity of patterns and is altogether rather strange, conclude researchers from The University of Southern Denmark.

 

 

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Why this is the best moment in history to be born in 23 charts

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There seems to be bad news everywhere you look these days. Sometimes it seems like the world is falling apart. Between Ebola, climate change, Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine, and the ongoing war in Iraq and Syria.

 

 

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One in five American deaths linked to obesity, three times higher than previous estimates

Younger generations have been exposed longer to risk factors for obesity.

A new report reveals that the number of deaths caused by obesity in the United States has been vastly underestimated by researchers. Obesity accounts for 18 percent of deaths among black and white Americans between the ages of 40 and 85, according to the study published online Aug. 15 in the American Journal of Public Health. Previous estimates had placed obesity-related deaths at only 5 percent of all U.S. deaths.

 

 

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Endotheliometer – A device that tracks your mortality

Some futurists like Ray Kurzweil and Thomas Frey believe that very soon humans will have the ability to live forever. And while they have their share of skeptics, increasingly amazing scientific developments make betting against such predictions a somewhat short-sighted gamble. Nevertheless, we still haven’t cracked immortality, although now there’s a device that has been developed that promises to actually tell exactly how mortal we are.

 

 

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When trees die so do people

When the U.S. Forest Service looked at mortality rates in counties affected by the emerald ash borer, they found increased mortality rates among people.

In June 2002 was when the blight was first detected in the trees in Canton, Michigan.  The emerald ash borer had come from overseas and was quickly spreading – a literal bug – across state and national lines to Ohio, Minnesota, and Ontario.  It spread to more distant and seemingly random locations as the infested trees were shipped beyond the Midwest.

 

 

 

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Controversial $615 Test That Tells You How Long You Will Live

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The results of the tests might also be of interest to companies offering life-insurance policies or medical coverage.

A controversial blood test that can show how fast someone is aging – and offers the tantalizing possibility of estimating how long they have left to live – is to go on sale to the general public in Britain later this year.

 

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The More You Sit Around, The Shorter Your Life Span

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Favorite pastime for Americans.

The more Americans engage in one of their favorite pastimes — sitting around — the shorter their average life span, a new study suggests. The effect remained even after researchers factored out obesity or the level of daily physical activity people were engaged in, according to a study of more than 120,000 American adults.

 

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