Researchers Develop Life2vec, an AI Model That Could Forecast Human Lifespan

A team of researchers from Denmark and the United States have developed a new artificial intelligence (AI) model that can predict the time of death and financial aspects of individuals based on their life events. The model, called Life2vec, uses advanced transformer models, similar to those powering large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT, to analyze and understand the sequences of events that make up an individual’s life.

How Life2vec works

Life2vec is trained on a data set pulled from the entire population of Denmark, which contains detailed information on income, profession, residence, health history, and other factors for six million people. Each of these factors has a code in the Danish data set, such as S52 for a broken forearm, or IND4726 for working in a tobacco shop, which the team converted into words. This enabled people’s lives to be summed up in data-rich sentences, including things like profession, income, injuries and pregnancy history.

For example, “In September 2012, Francisco received twenty thousand Danish kroner as a guard at a castle in Elsinore” and “During her third year at secondary boarding school, Hermione followed five elective classes” are examples of the stories written about subjects.

The AI model then fits all of these words together like a jigsaw puzzle to determine how long the person will live. The team tested Life2vec on a group of people aged between 35 and 65, half of whom died between 2016 and 2020.

How accurate is Life2vec

According to the researchers, Life2vec is capable of predicting the future, including the lifespan of individuals, with an accuracy that exceeds state-of-the-art models. The model achieved a 78% accuracy in predicting life expectancy, which is higher than previous models that used neural networks or survival analysis.

The researchers also claim that Life2vec is consistent with existing social science findings on the factors that influence longevity. For instance, being male, a smoker or having a poor mental health diagnosis can all contribute to shorter lifespans. Higher incomes and having a leadership role can lead to a longer life.

Why Life2vec matters

The researchers say that Life2vec is not only a scientific breakthrough, but also a tool that can help individuals assess their health and receive targeted health advice. They also envision that Life2vec can be used for various applications, such as insurance, pension planning, healthcare management, and public policy.

However, they also acknowledge that Life2vec raises ethical and social issues, such as privacy, bias, and accountability. They stress that Life2vec is not intended to be a definitive or deterministic predictor of human lives, but rather a probabilistic and exploratory one.

They also emphasize that Life2vec is not meant to replace human judgment or expertise, but rather to augment it with data-driven insights. They hope that Life2vec can inspire further research and innovation in the field of AI and human life prediction.

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