Doubling down on longevity research may be humankind’s best bet.
The CEO of Insilico Medicine, Alex Zhavoronkov, Phd, believes artificial intelligence [AI] may be the most effective way to lengthen and improve more lives worldwide.
Money makes life more comfortable, but it won’t necessarily extend your life or prevent one’s eventual decline, says Zhavoronkov.
Everybody gets old, suffers from disease and, eventually, dies. The aging process doesn’t discriminate or give preferential treatment.
Enter the concept of effective altruism. Zhavoronkov recommends the concept as defined in William MacAskill’s book, Doing Good Better, as a guide.
It’s not just enough to make financial contributions and do good deeds. Rather, we must research and ascertain what giving or doing has the most impact. The goal is to figure out what issues are best to help, where the need is greatest, the impact widest and support that. Basically, getting generosity’s biggest bang for the buck.
Zhavoronkov advocates a life measured by QALY, a quality-adjusted life year. This “life” determines both how well and long you live. A QALY is one year at peak healthy living or perfect health. Some years could be living at a rate or portion of QALY. For instance, a person could live only a portion of a year at peak health. It might take several years to add up to one QALY.
So how do you measure a life lived QALY? Factors include wealth, political power, connections to other people or influencers, inventions you make, personal and profession reputation, number of children and grandchildren, happiness, skills and career, physical performance, years of life remaining, and valuable or memorable experiences.
People living a QALY share benefits by improving the quality of life for those around them. Simply put, living well helps others live well and longer too. If we all stay healthy, contribute to the world to improve it, we all benefit.
So how do you achieve a great world of do-gooders and good-lifers?
In Zhavoronkov’s view, the best way to help the world is by focusing on aging and longevity and biotechnology research.
Zhavoronkov, whose company specializes in next-generation artificial intelligence technologies, suggests artificial general intelligence or AGI, also known as sentient AI as a solution.
The use of AI could aid research for treatments to extend and improve life, he says.
What about the fears of AI taking over human existence? Develop values for AI that promote global human QALY. Scientists would program AI that extending worldwide longevity and human health span as the highest altruism.
According to Zhavoronkov, the longevity biotechnology industry offers the most potential for development because it’s where several longevity and quality of life fields converge: regenerative medicine, AI, biopharmaceutical industry and aging research.