Press “AI” to Procrastinate Death

To himself everyone is an immortal. He may know that he is going to die, but he can never know that he is dead Anonymous British satirist

Death — The single greatest enigma in Human history and an infallible truth which had subdued every human who had ever stepped on this surface is now starting to show early signs of fissures. Age of AI is heralding the promise of a pragmatic possibility to extend the longevity of Human Life

Recent success comes from scientists at Stanford who had trained an AI system to predict mortality of palliative care patients with 90% accuracy. This prediction allows the patients to pass peacefully surrounded by family members at the comfort of their homes rather at a hospital combating aggressive medical procedures. A variant of the this technique called as “ Trees of Predictors”, developed by ULCA researchers uses machine learning to accurately predict survival rate of a patients waiting for heart transplant and to make informed choices in leveraging the limited medical and life saving resources. These are scenarios wherein AI had successfully predicted the unpredictable death with an astounding accuracy. It doesn’t stop there rather its on an ambitious goal in procrastinating the mortality

Broadly, aging related AI research falls under two categories

Gene Manipulation — Treating aging as a disease and harnessing extensive AI analytics to selectively switch on/off the genes.

Consider the case of “Pulmonary hypertension” a terminal disease with life expectancy of an year , AI researchers along with Biotechnologist extract the cells from patient and induce “ Protector genes”, replicate the cells exponentially and ingest it back into the body with existing DNA. These experiments at laboratory stage had been successful in round worms, mice and had induced hopes in permitted clinical trials. The same concept can be extended to cure type-2 Diabetes

Availability of embryonic stem cells is an limitation of this technique and it’s a topic of intense religious and ethical debate. But the good news is, research is progressing and it’s in cusp of becoming a medical reality. In a variant of this technique AI system performs a prognosis on human organs and pro-actively alert on its expected life-span , this will serve as a vital tool for the medicos to attend and if essential to replace them with 3D printed ones. When the famous bandit Veerapan was shot dead at an age of 54, his autopsy report indicated his organs resembles state of 24 years young adult, its chiefly attributed to his diet and lifestyle. Gene manipulation techniques attempts to artificially simulate this pattern through a combination of analytics and gene therapy

Whole Brain Emulation (WBE) — This technique simplifies human as a piece of software (State of consciousness) and a degradable hardware (Body). It intends to download and replicate consciousness into a non-degradable digital construct thereby virtualizing the state of mind. Though it sounds like a sci-fi this Trans-humanism experiments are gaining momentum. Dr. Hannah Critchlow research with IBM’s Sequoia supercomputer is marching in this direction and intend to recreate Brain’s 100 trillion circuit connection in an artificial cognitive construct. This setup will immortalize human as death is defined to be cessation of all biological functions that sustain a living organism

If this advancements sounds blizzard or a product of wishful thinking from Isaac Asimov or Le Guin ‘s novels, lets know the fact we are discussing serious business with billions of dollars getting pumped into it . Calico an Alphabet company created in 2013 with sole intent of extending life and defying ageing is making steady inroads. Investors such as Joon Yun has ongoing competition of $1Mn on Palo Alto championship on Longevity. Renowned erudite minds such as Pieter Thiel (co-founder of PayPal) openly endorses HGH and proclaims to live unto an age of 120.It’s not only major corporates but sprouting smaller startups are deeply invested in this arduous endeavor promising to hack the “Life-Code”

Once successful ,this AI engine will completely disrupt the way we visualize the world, overcrowded planet will have passengers staying well beyond the expiry date. Concept of Retirement and pension plans has to be reimagined. Regulations will be brought in for allowing voluntary and mandatory check-out from the surface of the earth. Battles will not take place on the land but by seeding the thoughts deep inside the digital copy of opponents mind( unfolding concept of inception !!) In essence there will be a holistic digital transformation …eclipsing beyond the horizons of human imagination

To questions on affordability and accessibility, yes this outcome too will follow S curve wherein this facility will be available for elite few to begin-with and gradually trickling down to mass population, case-in- point Genome analysis during Steve Job diagnoses was in millions now it’s available for common man for a few hundred bucks

In conclusion, to the religious minds questioning the evolution of AI , deep down any and every recorded miracle had a strong undercurrent of science. The greatest sign of opening up the Red sea to deliver Israelites from the fierce onslaught of the Pharaoh was triggered by Moses but scientifically it was driven by strong east wind which bifurcated the sea into two huge water walls. Continuing the spiritual parlance, AI is the new east wind blowing to cast away the excruciating pain and suffering and to displace the mankind into a land flowing with peace, hope and prosperity

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Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com on May 29, 2018.

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Shammy Narayanan

Shammy Narayanan

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